It was far from the easiest night the Cleveland Cavaliers could have envisioned in Game 6 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals on Friday night, but that did not stop them from evening up the series three games apiece and setting up a Game 7 clash in Boston for Sunday night. After a quarter, things were not looking very good for the Cavaliers, with the Celtics ending it with a five point lead. That was far from insurmountable, but the loss of forward Kevin Love was also a major blow as his head injury in that period holding him out for the remainder of the game.
Enter stage left: LeBron James. With their backs against the walls, the Cavs once again got some of the best basketball from ‘the King.’ After being criticized by many, many commentators for his lack of defense in some prior games, James looked every bit the part of a world class dominator. He would end up with 46 points in the end, but his contributions on the other end of the floor were just as big. One blocked shot after a tough conversion of his own, that saw him run back the length of the floor, to just send the ball away was enough to get the building in a tizzy.
Plays like that change games, and despite their big second quarter where they looked to have all but ended the Celtics’ challenge, it was still a game until very late on. The Celtics looked much improved this time around in Cleveland, something that has not suited them in this series. The Cavs haven’t really looked very good in Boston, either. That makes Game 7 very interesting.
Will these teams be able to put on a close, entertaining game? Or will it simply end up being about who exactly has home court yet again? The evidence right now points toward the latter, but the eye test and prior experience should be telling us otherwise. LeBron James will not go down easily, whether it’s in Cleveland, Boston, or on the moon. He will not let his team go down as easily as they have done on the road in this series so far, and that means we should be expecting a game that’s at least as close as the Cavaliers’ 109-99 win in Game 6.