Poor shooting, turnovers doom Celtics in Game 7 loss to Cavaliers

LeBron James and Jayson Tatum

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.

Her thirst for the four-time MVP and three-time National Basketball Association champion is well documented, so it's no surprise that Rihanna was overjoyed when James pulled his team to victory over the Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

James and Horford embraced after the buzzer, then the Cavaliers donned NBA Finals hats and Eastern conference championship shirts before shuffling off the court to receive their trophy. How can you not be awed by the 46 points and almost triple double that James put up in Game 6 with his team in an elimination game?

But ultimately Boston's terrible 3-point shooting (7-of-39) and 29-percent second-half shooting did the team in. 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 previous 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. James almost had a near-triple-double in the road elimination game with 35 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists.

Following the game, one of the first to speak with Tatum was LeBron James.

The Cavaliers will face the victor of tomorrow's game seven Western Conference final between the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors. 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. I think they're going to be really excited to get back with it. But whatever the next chapter brings, James will have owned the Celtics in a fashion few other players in history ever did.

Injured Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving did not attend his team's Game 7 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers because he had undergone surgery for a deviated septum, coach Danny Ainge said Monday. Draymond's pure passion quite possibly lost the Warriors the 2016 Finals, but they're not a juggernaut in the first place without him leading their revolutionary small lineup defensively. He called James' Finals streak "ridiculous", especially considering the pressure and scrutiny James is under. Rookie Jayson Tatum led the home team with 24 points, highlighted by a poster dunk on James in the fourth quarter.

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Cleveland won without Love, who missed the game after sustaining a concussion in Game 6.

James scored 35 points, adding 15 rebounds and nine assists while playing all 48 minutes. And for that, these ragtag and fresh-faced Celtics get my undying respect and appreciation for a run that probably went a round and a half longer than it should have.

"Fortunately for us, we've got easily the best player in the world on our team", Smith said.

The Celtics ended the first quarter on a 9-0 run and led 43-39 at the half in what would turn out to be the lowest scoring game in the series.

But Jeff Green, elevated to a starting role due to Love's injury, hit one of his two 3-pointers, and James fed Tristan Thompson the next trip down as the Cavaliers went back up four.

"It's one of those things where I really have to tip my hat (to James)", Celtics All-Star Al Horford said.

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