The Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics in Game 6 to force a Game 7 in Boston on Sunday night. But other than the normal worries that come with a deciding game, the C’s have no reason to panic.
In Game 6, the Cavs did what they needed to do. It turned out they needed quite a lot to hold off the Boston Celtics.
LeBron James finished with 46 points, 11 rebounds, and 9 assists on 17 of 33 shooting, 5 for 7 from deep. The last of two threes were stepback threes, both daggers that came off Boston makes, putting the Cavs up 10 and 11 respectively with under 2:30 left to play. And all on what looked like a sprained knee or maybe even a torn ACL, prayers up for the King.
No one on planet Earth was stopping LeBron from hitting those two shots. At that point, it was very clear the Cavs had won.
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It wasn’t just LeBron
Even without that stretch, the Celtics weren’t exactly helping their chances in other departments. They were outrebounded 44-31, 15-5 on the offensive glass. Especially in the fourth quarter, Boston was unable to get stops and scores because of Larry Nance and Tristan Thompson. Chances to trim the lead were ended by easy putback dunks or more time wasted on the clock.
No sequence defined the game more than Marcus Smart blocking LeBron James on a dunk, an insane play, one that changes the game if not for Larry Nance picking up the ball and laying it in one second later.
At the free throw line, the C’s shot 11 for 20, 9 misses in a 10 point game. There isn’t any easier way to shoot yourselves in the foot. Besides actually shooting yourselves in the foot.
The Celtics pushed hard and played their best game in Cleveland in the series by far. Terry Rozier made six threes and finished with 28 points. Jaylen Brown had 27 points and no turnovers. If not for Jayson Tatum and Al Horford combining for just 21 this series is over. The first quarter struggles were gone, it was just that 16 point deficit in the second that got to them.