LeBron James won't forget his Dan Gilbert anger

Elena Summers
May 28, 2018

Tatum has been an absolute stud for the Celtics.

"I have learned probably everything alongside possibly the best player to have played this game", said Green.

LeBron James (part two): How did James dominate? He clearly admires and respects Tatum's game, and he wanted to convey that message.

But, after that play (and Tatum's staredown of LeBron), all things went downhill for the C's. First in Miami and now in his second tour of duty in Cleveland, James has frustrated, tormented and extinguished the championship hopes of a string of Celtics teams.

James had to do it without Kevin Love - Cleveland's only other all-star - who sustained a concussion in Game 6 and was replaced in the lineup by Jeff Green. All these series to come here in the end and to know that we're going to be playing for a championship in the end. And so yeah, I think previous year, you kind of just expected it to happen at a certain point. Cleveland played an imperfect game - it shot 9 for 35 from 3-point range and had five total bench points - but wound up with an 87-79 victory, advancing to the NBA Finals yet again. "I'm enjoying every single moment of this".

The scoring that had been distributed so evenly throughout the ups and downs of the first three rounds fell squarely on a 20-year-old rookie.

"I want him here all the time", Jackson continued.

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.

With Irving and Hayward back healthy and in the fold, coupled with a year of growth for Tatum, Brown and Rozier, Boston should strike fear into the rest of the National Basketball Association.

But two years ago, they also weren't given much of a shot against the Warriors, especially after falling behind 3-1 in the finals.

This win cements LeBron as the undisputed, certifiably greatest Celtics-killer of them all.

The positivity starts with Tatum, but it doesn't end there. His free throw made it a 10-point game, 84-74. They still can surrender open shots everywhere, a flaw that seems fatal against the 3-point happy Rockets or Warriors.

"He's unbelievable", Stevens said.

Terry Rozier emerged as an athletic, penetrating point guard who protects the ball.

Lue said he's James' performance was the best he has seen in their time together, "right there" with his unforgettable Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals. Rozier, meanwhile, went just 2-for-14, and failed to connect on any of his 10 three-point attempts. "We are going to try to get better throughout the series", he said. Tweeting at Sportsnet's Michael Grange, Kobe wrote, "I'm guessing it's hard to fathom athletes supporting other athletes to be great". You have to go all the way back to the first round of the 2005 playoffs when the C's lost to the Pacers to find a Game 7 letdown on Garden parquet.

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