The Cavaliers weren't ready for their playoff run to end Friday night, fighting off the Celtics to take Game 6 by a final score of 109-99 in front of a boisterous Cleveland crowd.
LeBron James again led the way with 46 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, but he got plenty of help from his teammates. The series now swings back to Boston for the all important Game 7 on Sunday.
Here are three takeaways from Cleveland's big win...
And All the King's Men!
James said he needed help if the Cavaliers were going to defeat the Celtics and fight off elimination. That help arrived right on time.
After Kevin Love went down halfway through the opening quarter with an apparent head injury, things weren't looking good for the Cavs. But the role players stepped up when it mattered most.
Meet him at the rim, Tristan! 😤🖐#NBAPlayoffs | #WhateverItTakes pic.twitter.com/zY6548xdDJ- NBA TV (@NBATV) May 26, 2018
During a nightmare Game 5 in Boston, all Cavs not named James or Love only scored 43 points and grabbed 22 rebounds. Back on their home floor, the troops rallied to score 63 points and pull down 29 rebounds.
George Hill had his best game of the series with 20 points, Jeff Green was inserted after Love went down and stood tall with 14 points and Larry Nance Jr. crashed the boards down the stretch.
Follow it Larry Nance!#WhateverItTakes 93 | #CUsRise 83 on @ESPNNBA pic.twitter.com/KDbOfuIO2p- NBA (@NBA) May 26, 2018
Heading back to Boston with a trip to the NBA Finals on the line, LeBron is going to need his supporting cast to stand tall once again.
Road woes continue for Celtics
Leaving the friendly confines of TD Garden has had a disastrous effect on the Celtics, and that trend continued in Game 6.
While Terry Rozier (28 points) and Jaylen Brown (27 points) can hold their heads high on the way home, the rest of the starters can't feel great about the collective effort. Aron Baynes failed to score a single point, and Jayson Tatum only managed 15 points, often looking uncomfortable on both ends of the floor.
Jaylen Brown (15 PTS, 6-8) was 🔒 in the 1Q! #NBAPlayoffs | #CUsRise pic.twitter.com/NrK5LqYN9G- NBA TV (@NBATV) May 26, 2018
The biggest disappointment, however, was the play of All-Star big man Al Horford, who could only add six points on 2-of-8 shooting. Cleveland doubled Horford frequently in post-up situations and refused to let him establish a rhythm. That can't happen in Game 7 if Boston wants to advance.
While the Celtics will be happy they get to return home for Game 7, the can't simply rely on past results.
Elimination brings out LeBron's best
James just isn't human. LeBron ruled the court and nailed two enormous shots down the stretch to guide the Cavs to victory.
In the midst of a grueling series, doubts emerged about James' ability to bounce back and lift his team with such a heavy offensive burden on his shoulders. He responded with 46 tremendous minutes, showing no signs of fatigue.
James ended the contest with another incredible line of 46 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. It means James now sits only two games behind Michael Jordan for the most 30-point playoff games in league history.
This is LeBron's 107th playoff game with 30 points. Michael Jordan is the all-time leader with 109- Joe Vardon (@joevardon) May 26, 2018
LeBron's numbers in elimination games are staggering, and he somehow still managed to surpass expectations.
As the series shifts to a Game 7, a moment LeBron labels the "best two words in sports," one of the NBA's greatest players may have one more trick up his sleeve.