It's Cleveland versus Golden State, again, in fourth round

That includes production from Kevin Love, though it's uncertain if the forward will even play in the series opener.

"We said we want to do this for Kevin, " Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. Playing in every game for the Cavs, James has led a roster that has been a constant turnstile of players to the NBA Finals. While it's unlikely Green will enjoy the same kind of success versus the Golden State Warriors, it is good to know that the Cavs have a viable replacement for Love if he proves unable to go.

This will not be an easy task for James and his buddies, who will try to hand the Celtics their only loss in 11 postseason home games.

His eighth straight NBA Finals sets up as one of his most hard, flanked by a largely unheralded set of teammates who force him to do much more at 33 than most other players are ever asked. Well the NBA Finals start Thursday versus Golden State or Houston. "The way he plays the game, his demeanor, where he comes from". He missed the entire 2015 Finals after suffering a dislocated shoulder earlier in the playoffs.

But the Celtics couldn't get 3-pointers to fall, and Cleveland slowly chipped their way back into it. James got 3-pointers from J.R. Smith and Jeff Green, and by the time halftime rolled around, Boston's lead was down to 43-39. That didn't happen, and he probably didn't improve his chances by posterizing James in the fourth quarter of Game 7.

Green, who finished the night 2-for-9 from beyond the arc, was asked about the Celtics daring him to shoot the 3 in Game 7.

Dating back to his first stint with the Cavaliers, it has always been trendy to say that LeBron James has no help, at least when he's been in Cleveland.

Love has struggled mightily against the Warriors on the NBA's biggest stage. Sunday's telecast also is now the highest-rated game of the 2018 NBC Playoffs. This season, however, it was not just any conference Finals experience, because they truly competed. No other Cavs are scoring in double digits.

Love made the trip to Boston and was in attendance Sunday night.

The series is the most-watched playoff since 2012, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Green, 31, averaged 10.8 points this season, starting 14 of the 78 regular-season games he appeared in.

  • Julie Sanders