Sports

Jayson Tatum draws high praise from LeBron James

Jayson Tatum draws high praise from LeBron James

Celtics coach Brad Stevens said the plan was to wear James out.

Tatum's jam brought the Celtics within two points with 6:42 to play, and he gave Boston a lead with a three-pointer less than a minute later. 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?

James has been in the finals every year since 2011 - four with Miami, and now four straight with Cleveland.

James embraced Horford and Tatum after the buzzer, then the Cavaliers donned celebratory hats and T-shirts before shuffling off the court to receive the Eastern Conference championship trophy.

All in all, this was this team's first postseason run together, and having the NBA's best player on the ropes no matter his supporting cast is an impressive feat.

"For somebody to go through this their first time and go through a full National Basketball Association season - he played, I think, pretty much every game - and to be in these pressure situations in the playoffs, his composure, making play after play and really just poised and ready for moments all year". They specialized in bricking quick-trigger 3-pointers, made 5-of-20 shots and saw the Cavs settle into somewhat of a comfort zone on offense.

James has a reason to leave Cleveland; there may be a more talented team elsewhere. "This is Game 7". "I wanted it. I just voiced my opinion in certain timeouts and got back on the floor and had fun and had joy with the game".

Out to their most dominating start of the playoffs, the Celtics took the first two games of this series and had LeBron looking behind him trying to see if help was on the way. I just go out and play my game. "Does it at this level, with the pressure, with the scrutiny". The Cavs rallied in the third quarter behind James and Jeff Green while holding the Celtics to 13 points.

"Like him, I think he's said this, we're just focused - and it's the truth, it's not avoiding the question - we're literally focused on (the now)", Gilbert told ESPN.

Green mentioned how "everyone doubted us" heading into the playoffs. They traded Isaiah Thomas for Kyrie Irving, who was eager to prove that he could succeed as his team's best player after years of being LeBron's sidekick in Cleveland.

Perhaps it was Boston's lack of urgency and Cleveland's desperation that led the Cavaliers to a gritty 87-79 victory on Sunday night.

LeBron James stood below the baseline and glared at Terry Rozier, seemingly incredulous that the Boston Celtics' young point guard would have the audacity to try to dunk in transition with James in the vicinity.

The Celtics saw their run of 10 straight home playoff games without a loss snapped in gut-wrenching fashion as their defensive passion was not matched with offensive execution throughout the final three quarters.


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