Sports

LeBron James leads Cavaliers into National Basketball Association finals

LeBron James leads Cavaliers into National Basketball Association finals

The excitement of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier will mean brighter nights ahead for Celtics fans, but they dropped their first home game (10-1) of the playoffs and now James heads to The Finals for an incredible eighth straight season.

James has been in the finals every year since 2011 - four with Miami, and now four straight with Cleveland.

James helped Cleveland overcome a 3-2 series deficit, winning twice even after Kevin Love - maybe the most capable of his otherwise underwhelming supporting cast - was lost to a concussion early in Game 6. Rookie Jayson Tatum led the home team with 24 points, highlighted by a poster dunk on James in the fourth quarter.

Boston's season ended with Sunday's 87-79 loss to the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals.

Now, the only question is who the Cavaliers will play for a chance at their second title in three years: The Rockets host Game 7 of the Western Conference finals against Golden State on Monday night, and the victor will host the opener of the NBA Finals on Thursday.

"We've had four or five seasons wrapped in one", James has said a few times this postseason.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Le Bron James off the court after embracing Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum following the Cavaliers' 87-79 victory in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals Sunday
Cavs heading to NBA Finals after LeBron dominates Celtics

Both Ainge and numerous Celtics players admitted it had to be hard for Irving and Hayward to watch Boston's playoff run without being able to help. He said "it's been better but I'll be ready tonight". Boston will be one of, if not the favorite to win the Eastern Conference next season.

It's not the one they want. Jeff Green stepped up to score 19 points and grab eight boards. Now that he knows he can lead a team to Game 7 of the conference finals, he'll have that much more confidence as Irving's backup next year.

With Kyrie Irving out the end of the regular season as well as the entirety of the postseason for the Boston Celtics, it gave other players on the team a chance to step up. Sunday will be his 100th game of the season, tying the most he has ever played, including all those Finals runs.

The former Cavaliers star's no show irked ESPN analyst Mark Jackson during the broadcast, who torched Irving for not sitting on the Celtics' bench during the tilt. Tatum's 351 points this postseason was one short of Abdul-Jabbar's record of 352.

Boston made the mistake of using the three pointer as their main offensive weapon down the stretch but they finished a dismal seven-of-39 overall from beyond the arc.

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