Tue, May 29, 7:17am by Staff Writer
The Cleveland Cavaliers have progressed to the NBA Finals once again after defeating the Boston Celtics 87-79 in game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals.
LeBron James has now made eight consecutive NBA Finals appearances and scored 35 points in game seven as the Cavs rallied from 12 points down in the first half.
Cleveland are now $6 to win the NBA Championship as they await the winner of Houston and Golden State on Tuesday.
The Celtics were previously undefeated at home during the playoffs, achieving a 10-0 mark.
Boston struggled to score after the first quarter, managing only 34 per cent from the field and connecting on seven of 39 three-pointers.
Despite only having five turnovers, the Celtics couldn’t stop James who was 12-24 from the field.
Jeff Green started in place of the injured Kevin Love at power forward and scored a much-needed 19 points on 7-14 shooting.
The Cavs bench was held in check for much of the contest, managing only five points, with LeBron playing the full 48 minutes on Monday.
For the Celtics, Terry Rozier was 0-10 from three and Marcus Smart was 1-10 from the field as they played a seven-man rotation.
Jayson Tatum was once again tremendous, scoring a thunderous dunk midway through the fourth quarter followed by a three-pointer which gave the Celtics a one-point lead.
From there on the Cavaliers controlled the contest, as Boston simply couldn’t get the ball to drop.
That game seven loss draws the curtain on a terrific season for Boston considering they lost their new free agent acquisition Gordon Hayward in the opening two minutes of the first game of the season, ironically against the Cavs.
With Kyrie Irving set to return from injury next season, Boston is well placed to make another deep run next season.
Cleveland faces an uphill battle in the NBA Finals against either the Warriors or Rockets.
Golden State are the current favourites for the title as they have been all season, at $1.60 at Sportsbet. The Rockets are $3.60 heading into a home game seven on Tuesday.
Houston were blown out by Golden State in game six on Sunday 115-86. The Rockets came out firing, leading by 17 points after the first quarter.
A second half avalanche from the Warriors ensured the series would return to Houston for game seven.
The Rockets will more than likely be without Chris Paul who suffered a hamstring injury late in game five.
Golden State are $1.39 favourites with the Rockets at $3.10 for the match. Houston are six-point underdogs at home.
Sportsbet NBA Markets
Golden State $1.60
Western Conference Game 7
Golden State $1.39 v Houston $3.10
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