LeBron James has 35 points, 15 rebounds, and nine assists in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals as he played all 48 minutes to lead the Cavs to their fourth straight NBA Finals in a sloppy, ugly 87-79 win in Boston.
The win not only sends Cleveland to the Finals against either the Rockets or, for the fourth straight year, the Warriors, but it also extends his career with the Cavs for at least four more games. The elephant in the room for Cleveland in Game 6 and Game 7 (as well as Game 7 of the first round) has been LeBron’s upcoming free agency.
Each time the Cavs face an elimination game, it’s possible that it’s James’ final game for the Cavs and that is a heavy weight over the franchise and fans, but clearly not affecting James. LeBron has been unreal in elimination games this postseason (and ever since he returned to Cleveland), so he’s obviously not struggling with the idea that it could be his last time in a Cleveland uniform.
After the Game 7 win, it was a jubilant scene for the Cavs as they marched into the media room to receive their trophy as Eastern Conference champs yet again. As they strolled in, owner Dan Gilbert greeted the players, and while most got daps and hugs, LeBron strode past Gilbert pretty quickly with hardly a handshake as he made his way to the podium.