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LeBron James saves Cavaliers from elimination

LeBron James played every minute but one in the first three quarters and led the Cleveland Cavaliers to a vital victory over Boston Celtics.
Final NBA: Cavs vs Warriors, juego 2

LeBron James saves Cavaliers from elimination
(Getty Images)

Did you really think LeBron James was going to let the Cleveland Cavaliers lose on their home court in an elimination game? Of course not, so it is perhaps no surprise the Cavs forced game seven with a 109-99 win against the Boston Celtics on Friday.

Gritty display

James led the way with a superb performance, scoring 46 points with 11 rebounds and nine assists. He is now averaging 33.9 points per game in 22 career shots at elimination. However, he did get a lot of help as George Hill, Jeff Green, Larry Nance Jr, Jordan Clarkson and Kyle Korver combined to score 56 points in the victory.

"Just a lot of heart, a lot of grit," James told ESPN after the game. "They're resilient, no matter who's been in the lineup, no matter the different type of lineups we've had throughout the course of the postseason or even the regular season, we're just trying to find an ability to win."

Things are unlikely to get easier for the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. James averages 34.5 points in game sevens during his career.  The decider with the Celtics will be played Sunday at 8:30 p.m. ET in Boston.

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Gregory ShamusAFP

Nance comes up big off the bench

Terry Rozier played out of his mind on Friday, scoring 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting with seven assists and three rebounds. Jaylen Brown was also excellent, putting up 27 points on 11-of-18 shooting. He had 13 points in the first quarter alone. Nance Jr. was key to the Cavaliers' performance off the bench, logging big minutes when Kevin Love went down with an injury seven minutes in. Nance finished with 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting with seven rebounds.

Larry Nance Jr.
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Larry Nance Jr.Gregory ShamusAFP

Baynes absent on the boards

Aron Baynes could not keep the Cavaliers off the boards as they finished with 15 offensive rebounds, four of which came from Nance. Baynes hardly played the second half and finished with zero points and four rebounds in 18 minutes.

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Smart dime keeps Celtics in hunt

Marcus Smart made possibly the prettiest pass of the postseason on this assist to Brown in the first quarter.

Win - or go home for dubs

The Golden State Warriors are on the brink of elimination for the first time since the 2016 NBA Finals, or maybe more appropriately, the Western Conference finals of the same year. The Houston Rockets can end Golden State's three-year run atop the Western Conference on Saturday, but they must do so without Chris Paul, who is out with a hamstring injury for game six. There has been no update as of yet whether Andre Iguodala will play for Golden State.


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