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29 May 2018, 12:46 | Tracey Rhodes
By Cam Tyes
But when it ends, it's painful. With their two offensive dynamos back next season, Boston will not need so much from Horford.
Situations like that are a prescient reminder of why the Celtics added Irving and Hayward to their core, aside from the obvious reason that stars are conducive to winning National Basketball Association championships.
The "King" was sensational once again for Cleveland on Sunday (Monday in Manila), as he logged a near triple-double in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference finals series against the Boston Celtics.
This win cements LeBron as the undisputed, certifiably greatest Celtics-killer of them all. She posted congrats to James after he won his first championship with the Heat back in 2012, and followed him without question to Cleveland when he chose to head back to his hometown. And at the expense of a player that's tortured them for six years.
"We've been counted out for a long time this season", James said postgame on ESPN. "At that point I just said let's get the most out of this season".
Boston was denied its first Finals trip since 2010, when it lost to the rival Los Angeles Lakers in seven games.
The Celtics ended the first quarter on a 9-0 run and led 43-39 at the half.
JR Smith canned some key three-pointers on the night - finishing with 12 points on 3-of-8 shooting from long-range, adding four boards, a steal and a blocked shot.
"You never want to put a ceiling on yourself and your group", Stevens said. This is not to say that they would not have helped (I'm not that dumb, everyone), but when the 31-year-old Jeff Green is the third-best player in Game 7, your team is in the kind of trouble that shouldn't require Irving and/or Hayward.
And, after all, the Horford-driven Celtics did come very close to knocking off LeBron and making the damn NBA Finals. He scored just three of his 17 points in the second half, on five whole shots.
While that's impressive enough on the surface, as The Athletic's Jared Weiss revealed, Tatum fell just one point shy of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's rookie record for points scored in the playoffs.
"The pain is part of the path", Stevens said.
It's a scene that we've seen play out countless times now. It's ridiculous, and he does it at this level and with the pressure, with the scrutiny - doesn't matter.
Anyone who doubts the greatness of James is a fool. Will his dominance continue against the Warriors or Rockets in the NBA Finals? But he owns the heart of a champion and is almost impossible to knock out.
James has a reason to leave Cleveland; there may be a more talented team elsewhere.
Love is averaging 13.9 points and 10.0 rebounds this postseason. Korver said. "But we got 23 on our side". "He's had a lot of gaudy games but a Game 7, in Boston, the history behind Boston, playing a undefeated team at home".
"He's tough", Lue said.
James took care of the rest.
As for the Celtics, they feel their day will come.
While James' amusement park analogy may not have hit home in the Northeast, it wasn't hard to figure out what the 4-time MVP meant.
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