The Boston Celtics couldn't finish off the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday in Game 6, as LeBron James notched a near triple-double to hand the Cavs a 109-99 win and set up a winner-take-all Game 7 at TD Garden. This is arguably the worst team that LeBron has been on since his first tour of duty with the Cavaliers. And no player is better when his back is against the wall than James.
"I had my moments", James said when asked if he was exhausted.
James, who battled fatigue in Wednesday's game five loss, played an incredible 46 of a possible 48 minutes in the game six win.
Those threes forced a Boston timeout with 1:40 left in the game, with both sides knowing that final nail hd been put in the coffin and there would indeed be a Game 7.
James isn't going to magically not be exhausted by Friday or Sunday. Not to say he doesn't need to polish his overall offensive game a bit, but the signs are there that he is special.
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And not everybody has his game analyzed and scrutinized every time there's a greatest-of-all-time conversation made about National Basketball Association players. If we continue to play defense the way we've been playing, I do love our chances. If they were to win, they would face whoever comes out of the Western Conference - the Warriors or Rockets. Interestingly, that was also the last time James was down 2-0 in a series in the East, which the Celtics closed out in six. He didn't play at all in the first quarter, as the offense languished and shots repeatedly clanged off the rim. Kyle Korver made the foul shot to make it 36-20 and Cleveland went on a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to eight points, 36-28. He has played 16 games thus far though the Cavs record is well below those Bulls at 10-6. I like what we've done the last three games defensively, even Game 5 in Boston. "We couldn't make. And if you don't make, it's going to come back to bite you". Catch up on all the top individual performances around the league in the Top Performers series.
"We've got to be focused, composed and play with a lot of poise and we'll be fine", he said, clearly up for the challenge. "It doesn't get any better than that", he said.
The Celtics opened a double-digit lead in the first quarter and nursed it the rest of the way, holding on through a four-minute scoring drought that saw Cleveland score nine straight points to cut the deficit to 83-71.