#CavsCeltics Game Preview - May 27, 2018

TD Garden at 8:30 p.m. ET

Game Summary

The Cavaliers travel to Beantown this Sunday night for a winner-take-all Game 7 matchup against the Boston Celtics for a chance to clinch the Eastern Conference Championship as well as a fourth-straight trip to the NBA Finals. Tipoff from TD Garden is set for 8:30 p.m (ET).

The Wine & Gold enter the upcoming winner-take-all contest against the Celtics for the second time this postseason after going the distance with the Indiana Pacers in Round 1. Sunday's Game 7 will also be the Cavs' first in a conference finals matchup in franchise history.

The Wine & Gold are 4-2 all-time in Game 7s. Not including their Round 1 matchup with the Pacers, the other Game 7s in Cavaliers history: 1976 Semifinals vs. Washington (4-3), 1992 Semifinals vs. Boston (4-3), 2006 Semifinals at Detroit (3-4), 2008 Semifinals at Boston (3-4) and 2016 NBA Finals at Golden State (4-3).

As mentioned, with a win in Game 7, the Cavaliers can clinch their fourth-straight appearance in the NBA Finals as well as their fifth overall. The only franchises to make four-straight NBA Finals are the Boston Celtics (1957-1966, 1984-1987), the Los Angeles Lakers (1982-1985) and the Miami Heat (2011-2014).

Going back to 2009, Cleveland is 15-1 in potential series-clinching playoff games (2-1 this postseason), while also winning six of their last eight games when facing elimination since 2015.

The Cavaliers earned this exciting challence by defeating the Celtics, 109-99, in Game 6 on Friday night at The Q to even the series at 3-3. In the win, Cleveland pulled down a 2018 Playoff-high 15 offensive rebounds, which led to a 18-7 edge in second chance points.

Cleveland secured the victory after 48 minutes of non-stop defensive excellence. In fact, the club posted nine blocks in Game 6, their most this postseason. Over the last three games, the Cavs are averaging 8.0 blocks per contest, making them a fierce obstacle for the Celtics' offense.

From an individual perspective, Game 6 was won on the shoulders of LeBron James, who notched his NBA-leading 12th double-double of the 2018 Playoffs with game highs of 46 points (17-33 FG, 5-7 3FG), 11 rebounds, nine assists and three steals in 46 minutes. It also marked James’ seventh 40-point outing this playoffs, tying Michael Jordan (1989) for the second-most 40-point games in a single postseason.

This incredible effort shouldn't come as a surprise to Wine & Gold Nation, as LBJ has already proven he can come in clutch when his back is against the wall. In 22 contests when facing elimination (13-9 record), James is now averaging 34.1 points (highest in league history, minimum five games), 10.8 rebounds and 7.4 assists, including at least 40 points in each of the last three elimination games.

The Kid from Akron will look to mirror his Game 6 performance on Sunday in Game 7. After all, history shows us once again that James can do wonders in winner-take-all contests. Over his seven career Game 7s, LBJ has averaged 34.9 points, 9.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.0 steals in 45.3 minutes. His teams are 5-2 in Game 7s, winning each of the last five (2018 First Round vs. IND, 2016 Finals at GSW, 2013 Finals vs. SAS, 2013 ECF vs. IND, 2012 ECF vs. BOS).

For Boston, a team that is undefeated at home this postseason, they'll look to get their hometown crowd behind them early as they aim to earn their first trip to the Finals since 2010 when they lost in seven games to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Celtics will look to their back court of Terry Rozier and Jaylen Brown (the guard combo combined for 55 in Game 6) to give them a spark early on Sunday, but like the Cavaliers, they'll also need a well-rounded effort if they want to play into June. That means getting starting center Aron Baynes going underneath the basket. The Australian center blanked in Game 6 despite solid efforts earlier in the series.

Boston will also look to their reserves to carry some of the load. While both Marcus Smart (10 pts) and Marcus Morris (10 pts) played well off the bench in Game 6, the rest of the reserves combined for only three points. Bench play for both teams could be the determining factor as to who will play in the Finals come Sunday night.


Where to Catch the Action

FOX Sports Ohio: Before and after all Cavs playoffs games, FOX Sports Ohio will provide pre- and postgame coverage hosted by Jeff Phelps and Campy Russell that will include reporting and analysis from Fred McLeod, Austin Carr and Allie Clifton, with guest appearances from former Cavs coach Mike Fratello.

TV: ESPN

Radio: WTAM 1100, 100.7 WMMS, 87.7 La Mega

For live in-game updates, follow @cavs, @CavsJoeG, @CavsFredMcLeod, @MrCavalier34, @CavsJMike and @chones22 on Twitter.


Probable Starters/Status Update*

#3 - George Hill

#5 - JR Smith

#23 - LeBron James

TBD

#13 - Tristan Thompson

#12 - Terry Rozier

#7 - Jaylen Brown

#0 - Jayson Tatum

#42 - Al Horford

#46 - Aron Baynes

Status Update: (Cavs) - Kevin Love, (Concussion, Out)

Status Update: (Celtics) - Kyrie Irving, (Left knee surgery, Out), Gordon Hayward, (Left ankle rehab, Out), Shane Larkin, (Left shoulder sprain, Out), Daniel Theis, (Left knee surgery, Out)

*Subject to change.


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Postseason Stats

For Wine & Gold fans, the all-important Game 7 can't come soon enough. However, here are some interesting milestones that will take your mind off of the grueling wait.

From a league perspective, Kyle Korver (235 3FGM) is just two three-pointers away from passing Jason Kidd (236 3FGM) for the 14th-most in NBA postseason play.

JR Smith (276 3FGM), on the other hand, is only one triple shy of moving past Paul Pierce (276 3FGM) for sole possession of ninth place on that same list.

From a franchise perspective, Kevin Love (109 AST) needs only two more assists to pass Larry Nance (110 AST) for eighth-most in Cavaliers playoff history.

Swish (759 PTS) can also pass another milestone, this time on the all-time playoff scoring list as he is just 24 points shy from passing Brad Daugherty (782 PTS) for sixth place on that list.


On Deck

With Game 7 being the final cap on the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals, the winner of #CavsCeltics will go on to play either the Golden State Warriors or the Houston Rockets in the 2018 NBA Finals. Game 1 of The Finals will tipoff on Thursday, May 31 at 9:00 p.m. (ET) and will be televised on ABC. Both Games 1 & 2 will be hosted by the winner of the Western Conference Finals no matter the outcome of either series.

FIND SEATS | FULL SCHEDULE


Eastern Conference Championship Trophy Presentation

Watch as the Wine & Gold are presented the Eastern Conference Finals Championship trophy after their Game 7 victory in Boston.

Cavs vs. Celtics Game 7 - May 27, 2018

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Eastern Conference Championship Trophy Presentation

Watch as the Wine & Gold are presented the Eastern Conference Finals Championship trophy after their Game 7 victory in Boston.
May 28, 2018  |  05:05

#CavsCeltics Game 7 Postgame: George Hill - May 27, 2018

Cavaliers guard George Hill spoke with the media following Sunday's 87-79 Game 7 victory over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.
May 28, 2018  |  04:21

#CavsCeltics Game 7 Postgame: Koby Altman - May 27, 2018

Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman spoke with the media following Sunday's 87-79 Game 7 victory over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.
May 28, 2018  |  03:12

#CavsCeltics Game 7 Postgame: Larry Nance Jr. - May 27, 2018

Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. spoke with the media following Sunday's 87-79 Game 7 victory over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.
May 28, 2018  |  02:49

#CavsCeltics Game 7 Postgame: Tristan Thompson - May 27, 2018

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson spoke with the media following Sunday's 87-79 Game 7 victory over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.
May 28, 2018  |  03:20

#CavsCeltics Game 7 Postgame: Kyle Korver - May 27, 2018

Cavaliers guard Kyle Korver spoke with the media following Sunday's 87-79 Game 7 victory over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.
May 28, 2018  |  07:07

#CavsCeltics Game 7 Postgame: Dan Gilbert - May 27, 2018

Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert spoke with the media following Sunday's 87-79 Game 7 victory over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.
May 28, 2018  |  03:55

#CavsCeltics Game 7 Postgame: LeBron James - May 27, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media following Sunday's 87-79 Game 7 victory over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.
May 27, 2018  |  10:39

#CavsCeltics Game 7 Postgame: Jeff Green - May 27, 2018

Cavaliers forward Jeff Green spoke with the media following Sunday's 87-79 Game 7 victory over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.
May 27, 2018  |  09:31

#CavsCeltics Game 7 Postgame: Coach Lue - May 27, 2018

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media following Sunday's 87-79 Game 7 victory over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.
May 27, 2018  |  07:35

LBJ's Deep Pass to Hill Gives Cavs Big Lead

LeBron tosses a deep pass to George Hill, leading to a layup, all but securing a trip to the 2018 NBA Finals.
May 27, 2018  |  00:18

#CavsCeltics Game 7 On-Court Postgame: JR Smith - May 27, 2018

Cavaliers guard JR Smith spoke with FOX Sports Ohio's Allie Clifton following Sunday's 87-79 Game 7 victory over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.
May 27, 2018  |  02:12

LeBron James Postgame Interview with Doris Burke

LeBron James joins Doris Burke for a postgame interview after leading the Cavaliers to a Game 7 victory over the Celtics to become the 2018 Eastern Conference Champions.
May 27, 2018  |  00:00

Cavaliers-Celtics Game 7 Ultimate Playoff Highlight

Check out the best moments from Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals as LeBron James leads the Cavaliers to their 4th straight NBA Finals appearance.
May 27, 2018  |  00:00

GAME RECAP: Cavaliers 87, Celtics 79

LeBron James scores 35 points with 15 rebounds and nine assists to lead Cleveland over Boston in Game 7 to advance to The Finals, 87-79.
May 27, 2018  |  00:00

LeBron James (35 points) Highlights vs. Boston Celtics

LeBron James scores a game-high 35 points to lead the Cavs to a Game 7 victory in Boston.
May 27, 2018  |  00:00

T.T. Jams It Late in the Fourth

LeBron James drops a nice pass to T.T. who slams the ball late in the fourth quarter of Game 7.
May 27, 2018  |  00:16

James Grabs the Cavs a Lead Late in Third with Deep Trey

LeBron breaks the tie late in the third quarter of Game 7 with a deep ball in Boston.
May 27, 2018  |  00:10

Green Powers Through Paint for And-One

Following a steal by JR Smith, LeBron drops a nice pass to Jeff Green who draws the foul and the bucket midway through the third quarter of Game 7.
May 27, 2018  |  00:21

Green Goes Up and Under for Two Points

Jeff Green makes a slick layup midway through the second quarter of Game 7 in Boston.
May 27, 2018  |  00:09

Featured Highlight: James Rattles the Rim

LeBron James throws down a big jam in the second quarter of Game 7 against the Boston Celtics on Sunday.
May 27, 2018  |  00:10

Nance Jr. Finishes the Play with a Tough Tip-In

Larry Nance Jr. finishes witha tough-tip in after Kyle Korver hits the rim from deep.
May 27, 2018  |  00:18

Tough Rebound by T.T. Leads to LBJ Trey

Tristan Thompson makes a tough rebound, before dropping the dime to LBJ for a three-pointer in this ‘More Driven Highlight’ driven by Goodyear.
May 27, 2018  |  00:15

Cavs.com 1-on-1 with Kyle Korver

Cavs.com's Fred McLeod caught up with Kyle Korver at Sunday's Game 7 shootaround at TD Garden in Boston.
May 27, 2018  |  03:42

Cavs.com Gets You Hyped for Game 7 at Boston

Cavs.com and KeyBank get you ready for Game 7 of the Wine & Gold's Eastern Conference Finals matchup against the Boston Celtics.
May 27, 2018  |  01:00

#CavsCeltics Game 7 Shootaround: Coach Lue - May 27, 2018

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media prior to Sunday's Game 7 shootaround at TD Garden in Boston.
May 27, 2018  |  03:13

#CavsCeltics Game 7 Shootaround: LeBron James - May 27, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media prior to Sunday's Game 7 shootaround at TD Garden in Boston.
May 27, 2018  |  04:37

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