CAVS SA NBA FINALS

LEBRON JAMES

BOSTON – Humataw si LeBron James ng 35 points, 15 rebounds at 9 assists upang tulungan ang Cleveland Cavaliers na makabalik sa NBA Finals matapos ang 87-79 panalo laban sa Boston Celtics sa Game 7 ng Eastern Conference finals noong Linggo ng gabi.

Sumampa si James sa NBA Finals sa walong sunod na seasons, kabilang ang apat na sunod sa Cleveland. Tanging sina Bill Russell (10), Tom Heinsohn (9) at  Sam Jones (9) ang nakagawa ng mas maraming magkasunod na appearances sa kasaysayan ng NBA.

Makakasagupa ng Cavaliers ang magwawagi sa Game 7 ng West finals sa pagitan ng Houston at Golden State ngayong araw. Nakaharap ng Cleveland ang Warriors sa huling tatlong NBA Finals, kung saan na­nalo ito noong 2016 at natalo noong 2015 at 2017.

“We’ve been counted out for a long time this season,” wika ni James sa  postgame sa ESPN. “Right around the trade deadline, no matter if we made a trade or not at that point in time, I kind of just switched my mindset on saying, ‘Let’s get this most out of this season I can.’ I’m determined to get the most. I’m trying to squeeze this orange until there’s no more juice left.

“This is a heck of an accomplishment for our ballclub — without our All-Star power forward (Kevin Love), as well, for basically two games. This (Boston) team was undefeated in the postseason at home, and for us to be able to do this, and for me to be able to lead these guys, it’s a treat.”

Si James, may NBA-record Game 7 average na 34.9 points, ay umangat sa 6-2 sa Game 7s.

Tumipa si Jayson Tatum ng 24 points upang pangunahan ang Celtics, na nabigo sa home sa ­unang pagkakataon ngayong postseason sa 11 games. Nagdagdag si Al Horford ng 17 points at kumana si Marcus Morris ng double-double na may 14 points at 12 boards.

Tumapos si Jeff Green na may 19 points at 8 rebounds, umiskor si JR Smith ng 12 points at gumawa si Tristan Thompson ng 10 points at 9 boards para sa  Cavaliers.

Nagwagi ang Cleveland  na wala si Love, na hindi nakapaglaro makaraang magtamo ng concussion sa Game 6. Wala pang katiyakan ang kalagayan ni Love para sa NBA Finals.

“We told the guys that Kevin wasn’t coming back, and they all got together and just huddled up and just came together as one, and coming into to-night, we knew he was going to be out, and we said we want to do this for Kevin,” sabi ni Lue.

“It’s tough, Kevin wanted to play, to be in a Game 7 situation like this in the Eastern Conference finals, being an All-Star, being our second-best player, and he just wasn’t able to go. So he was down, but the guys picked him up, so now he has another chance when we get to the Finals to be ready,” dagdag pa niya.

Makaraang umabante ang Cleveland sa 76-73, may 4:44 ang nalalabi, nagmintis ang  Boston sa sumunod na siyam na field-goal attempts at pinalobo ng  Cavs ang kalamangan sa 86-74 papasok sa mga huling segundo.

 

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