James delivers epic Game 7 as Cavs reach National Basketball Association finals

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Le Bron James right celebrates a basket during the second half in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics Sunday

Even if Boston loses in a Game 7 that will have LeBron going to his eight straight finals appearance, the C's will have two All-Stars integrated back into this incredibly balanced roster during the summer.

"It was five, now it's now six seasons in one", LeBron James said at the postgame podium following Cleveland's 87-79 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

"The postseason has been a lot of fun, from the first game to today. So just to be able to compete against a player like him and be a few shots away from beating him and his team to go to a championship is something I will always remember".

Tatum had a dunk over James with 6:41 left - and stared down the Cavaliers star and bumped him with his chest - and then followed it with a three-pointer that gave the Celtics a 72-71 lead.

"Yeah, I think I'll have plenty of time to talk about next year", Stevens said after the game. "I just know he's built for stardom". He exhausted late in Game 5, when the Celtics won their 10th straight at home this postseason.

"I think we've played now until May 25th and May 27th the last two years, and we started on September 25th", Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.

"Our goal going into the series was to make him exert as much energy as humanly possible and try to be as good as we can on everybody else", Stevens said.

His first-quarter outburst helped Boston build an early 12-point lead and Tatum briefly helped the Celtics rally ahead in the fourth quarter before James assured his eighth straight trip to the Finals.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Le Bron James off the court after embracing Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum following the Cavaliers' 87-79 victory in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals Sunday
Cavs heading to NBA Finals after LeBron dominates Celtics

The Cavaliers are expected to be underdogs against either.

That got us thinking - what was the world like in 2010, the last time James wasn't playing for a title?

"We have and opportunity to win a championship". It's what's been asked of me from this ball club. "It's something that you wish you had when you're done playing, but more than that, it's just basketball for me". Horford led the charge as the Celtics took a 26-18 at the end of the first quarter.

Game 7 is another good example of an occasion where Boston could've used more offense from Horford, especially late. That may come as soon as next season if James leaves the Eastern Conference. But they do not have James, who - to borrow a term from former Cleveland general manager David Griffin - has the ability to dictate outcomes like no one else.

On this episode of #OutofBounds, Gilbert Arenas, Adam Caparell and Pierce Simpson recap LeBron James' playoff brilliance, carrying his Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in stunning fashion.

This might be his weakest supporting cast year. A Cleveland win further cements LeBron's legacy and they will have done it without Kevin Love who is in concussion protocol.

Tristan Thompson was the fourth Cavalier starter to tally double-figures, chipping in with 10 points on a flawless 4-of-4 from the floor, adding nine boards and rendering Boston's Aron Baynes completely ineffective - holding the Celtics starting big to three points and without a single shot attempt.

"He played 48 minutes tonight to bring us home", Lue said. The Rockets and Warriors meet in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals Monday night (9 p.m., SN1, RDS2).

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