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LeBron James leads Cavaliers into National Basketball Association finals
29 May 2018, 01:00 | Kristopher Drake
David Butler II USA Today Sports
LeBron James had just clinched his eighth straight trip to the NBA Finals, but before celebrating in the quiet TD Garden, he scanned the parquet floor.
Jayson Tatum scored 24 for Boston, which was looking to return to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010.
Tatum brought the building alive with a driving dunk and 3-pointer to give the Celtics the lead when Jeff Green answered with a 3-pointer and Tristan Thompson got loose for an uncontested slam. The Rockets host the seventh game of the West final on Monday night. He's now led his team to wins in 12 of his last 15 elimination games and won his last six Game 7s. And there will likely never be a true answer to determine who the best basketball player of all time is.
Horford scored 14 points and Tatum had 11 in the first half for the Celtics who up until Sunday had played with more intensity and aggressiveness at home during this postseason.
Irving had not played in the Celtics' run to the Eastern Conference finals after undergoing a pair of surgeries in March and April to remove screws from his left patella that had become infected.
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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. Boston will be one of, if not the favorite to win the Eastern Conference next season. And I feel, knowing each one of the players, I do think it will propel them.
The Boston Celtics, who have played from in front the entire series, have proven they aren't just a team of the future, but a team of the present. They have to be exhausted, and that's no way to go into a series against Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and the Warriors, who blew Cleveland away in five games past year, or James Harden and a Rockets team that can be every bit as potent on one end and lock teams down on the other.
And, for now, that means Cleveland, too.
Al Horford finished with 17 points and Jaylen Brown had 13 but he was just three-of-12 from the three-point line. As indicated by the fact that they only had five turnovers in the entire game, the Celtics simply could not find the bottom of the net from beyond the arc despite receiving a large number of good looks.
WatchESPN: You can also watch the game on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the WatchESPN app. Boston was 7 for 39 from 3-point range, with Rozier missing all 10 of his attempts.
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