James was his usual Game 7 self, dropping 35 points, 15 rebounds, nine assists and two blocks in a complete game performance.
And the Cavaliers will need every bit of it. Unfortunately, recent updates do not bode well for his status heading into the first game of the much-anticipated finals series. 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 he does it at this level with the pressure and scrutiny", he added. "Doesn't matter. It's just unbelievable".
After the two shared a moment on the Boston parquet following Cleveland's 87-79 victory, the 33-year-old James was asked about his feelings and specifically that postgame moment with Boston's No. 0. They'll be known as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference because of what they've proven along their path. The Celtics rookie caught the ball beyond the 3-point arc.More news: Preacher says God told him to get a $70 million private jet
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If Golden State wins, it would mark the fourth straight year the Warriors and Cavs have played in the NBA Finals.
Before Friday night's game, Cleveland coach Ty Lue told his team (and others), "Three, three, three", meaning their season had either three hours, three days or three weeks remaining. Golden State is the biggest NBA Finals favorite in at least the last 16 years, per historical data compiled by SportsOddsHistory.com.
The Warriors will begin the defense of their 2017 championship on Thursday when they host Cleveland in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Even as the springy Rozier launched at the basket in transition, James simply rose up and smothered the attempt late in the third quarter.
Say what you will about James in the scope of all-time greats, but it is hard to deny him as the face of the Finals for an entire generation of basketball fans.