Celtics vs. Cavaliers: LeBron James' brilliance leads Cleveland to Game 6 win despite Kevin Love's injury
LeBron finished with 46 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists to force a Game 7
LeBron James put on an absolute show in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 109-99 win over the Boston Celtics to even the series at 3-3 and force a Game 7. That will be on Sunday night, as the two teams square off in Boston with a trip to the Finals on the line. But for now, let's dive in to Game 6 for a few takeaways.
All hail "The King"
You could practically write an entire novel about LeBron's performance in Game 6, it was that special. He scored the Cavs' opening basket and never looked back, finishing with 46 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists and three steals. Oh, and he played 46 minutes and only had three turnovers. The Celtics kept battling, cutting the lead into single digits on multiple occasions in the fourth quarter, but it never really felt like they had a chance to win, and that's because of LeBron James. He had all the answers in this game, despite dealing with an apparent leg injury down the stretch. And his final two dagger 3-pointers -- especially the second one -- were just absurd.
Besides LeBron's epic performance, the other main storyline was the physicality of the game. Unfortunately, it occasionally led to injuries. Just a few minutes into the game, Kevin Love and Jayson Tatum accidentally clashed heads as Tatum tried to navigate a Love screen. The blow left Tatum holding his head, but he ultimately stayed in the game. Love, however was not so lucky. He went to the locker room and was eventually ruled out of the game. Later on, Terry Rozier rolled his ankle pretty badly, but he was able to play through the pain. And so too was LeBron James, when he suffered an apparent leg injury after Larry Nance Jr. fell on top of him.
How those knocks affect the various players in Game 7 will likely play a big role in who is able to get the win. Following Game 6, Love, which would be a big loss for the Cavs. The other players -- Tatum, Rozier and LeBron -- will all surely suit up, but it will be interesting to see if they are their usual selves.
The Celtics -- as they pretty much always do -- kept working after falling down by double digits. With just over four minutes to play, they had a chance to cut the deficit to just four points, but Jaylen Brown's 3-pointer didn't go down. In the end, they lost by 10 points, largely due to LeBron's brilliance. And to that end, there's not much you can do; he's insanely good at basketball. But the Celtics can also blame themselves for not being able to recover from the big hole they dug themselves. In addition to a number of poor shots, they also turned the ball over 13 times and missed nine free throws. That's just not going to cut it in the playoffs -- especially on the road in an elimination game.
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