Friday night's Game 6 matchup between the Cavs and Celtics came down to one key factor. There is only one LeBron James, and he plays for Cleveland.
James carried the Cavs to victory with 46 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists and three steals in a 109-99 win at Quicken Loans Arena. What made his performance even more impressive was the fact that he did it without All-Star forward Kevin Love, who exited the game in the first half with an apparent head injury.
Cleveland received strong contributions from George Hill (20 points), Jeff Green (14 points) and Larry Nance Jr. (10 points, seven rebounds), but it was James who shut the door on a pesky Celtics team with a pair of clutch 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. Terry Rozier and Jaylen Brown combined for 55 of the Celtics' 99 points, but it was an overall uneven showing.
Check out the best highlights from Game 6 of Cavs vs. Celtics...
Game 6 box score | Play-by-play
Final: Cavs 109, Celtics 99
11:03 p.m. ET - We will have a Game 7 in Boston. What an incredible effort by LeBron James, who put together a 46-11-9 masterpiece.
46 PTS, 11 REB, 9 AST and a Game 7 feeling!- NBA (@NBA) May 26, 2018
LeBron & the @cavs win 109-99 to force winner-take-all game on Sunday! #NBAPlayoffs | #WhateverItTakes pic.twitter.com/cIy6W5NrF7
10:57 p.m. ET - LEBRON JAMES! HOW DO YOU STOP THIS?!
SAME SPOT. SAME RESULT!- NBA (@NBA) May 26, 2018
LeBron in the clutch! #WhateverItTakes pic.twitter.com/lsBhNvCgK9
10:47 p.m. ET - These Celtics just won't go away. A nice defense-to-offense play by Jayson Tatum keeps Boston within shouting distance. Cavs 97, Celtics 90 with 3:54 on the clock.
7 point game!- NBA (@NBA) May 26, 2018
Tatum slams home on the break to cut the lead to 97-90. #NBAPlayoffs | #CUsRise pic.twitter.com/Akx4qPLz81
10:41 p.m. ET - This guy... LeBron James delivering another fantastic performance.
38 PTS. 9 REB. 7 AST.- NBA (@NBA) May 26, 2018
LeBron James wants a Game 7! #WhateverItTakes 95 | #CUsRise 83 on @ESPNNBA pic.twitter.com/73ygQSLkA5
10:35 p.m. ET - Terry Rozier (28 points, six 3-pointers, six assists) is keeping the Celtics close, but the Cavs refuse to give up the lead. It's a 10-point advantage for Cleveland with under seven minutes to go.
End of third quarter: Cavs 83, Celtics 73
10:25 p.m. ET - The Cavs led by as many as 16 points in the third and walk back to the bench with a 10-point advantage. LeBron James is up to 32 points with seven rebounds, seven assists, two steals and one block. He is controlling the pace and flow of the game.
LeBron ➡️ Green for 3⃣ #WhateverItTakes 80 | #CUsRise 65 #NBAPlayoffs on @ESPNNBA pic.twitter.com/kCkgm07ELh- NBA (@NBA) May 26, 2018
10:18 p.m. ET - Terry Rozier has been terrific (20 points, five assists, three rebounds), but the Celtics just can't seem to trim down the deficit. It feels like the Cavs are boxing with a longer standing reach, preventing Boston from getting close enough to do any real damage.
Rozier (23 PTS) cuts lead to 10 with a TOUGH triple! #NBAPlayoffs | #CUsRise pic.twitter.com/49e0jfUHnd- NBA (@NBA) May 26, 2018
10:09 p.m. ET - LEBRON JAMES CHASEDOWN SIREN.
BLOCKED.- Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) May 26, 2018
JAMES. #WhateverItTakes pic.twitter.com/H5BRpUdOIz
10:04 p.m. ET - A great read by George Hill to jump into the passing lane and finish at the other end. He's got 12 points in 18 minutes. That's a huge boost for the Cavs.
GEORGE HILL. #WhateverItTakes pic.twitter.com/W14YfAVBlT- Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) May 26, 2018
9:55 p.m. ET - INJURY UPDATE: Kevin Love is out for the remainder of Game 6. He is still being evaluated for a concussion.
Halftime: Cavs 54, Celtics 43
9:40 p.m. ET - Here's a shocker: LeBron James is leading the charge for the Cavs. The four-time MVP has 25 points, five rebounds and five assists - not bad for one half. Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier have scored 30 of the Celtics' 43 points, but Boston just isn't playing with the same energy it usually brings at home. That's been a problem over the course of the entire postseason run.
9:28 p.m. ET - Don't blame Al Horford here. That move is just unfair.
Smooth, 👑 #WhateverItTakes 44 | #CUsRise 34 pic.twitter.com/aNpweV4DYI- NBA (@NBA) May 26, 2018
9:17 p.m. ET - Look at Jeff Green returning the favor with an assist to LeBron James. The Cavs are on a 14-3 run midway through the second quarter.
LeBron (13 PTS) gives the @cavs their first lead from deep! #NBAPlayoffs | #WhateverItTakes pic.twitter.com/TietGSlAy2- NBA (@NBA) May 26, 2018
9:13 p.m. ET - LeBron James with the alley, Jeff Green takes care of the oop.
LeBron ⬆️ Green ⬇️ #NBAPlayoffs | #WhateverItTakes pic.twitter.com/jClewt28Ix- NBA (@NBA) May 26, 2018
End of first quarter: Celtics 25, Cavs 20
9:06 p.m. ET - What a terrific start for Jaylen Brown. The second-year man out of Cal has 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting. He has already made a few terrific cuts off the ball. The Cavs will have to slow him down here in the first half.
Jaylen. Brown. Is. On. Fire. 🔥- NBA (@NBA) May 26, 2018
15 PTS through 1st Q, as the @Celtics lead 25- 20! #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/goS56L6u1T
9:00 p.m. ET - Terry Rozier hits two of his first three shots after going only 3-of-15 in Game 5. He can be a real difference-maker offensively when he is aggressive.
Terry on the attack! 💧 pic.twitter.com/v0z9tI1UF8- Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 26, 2018
8:48 p.m. ET - The Celtics jump out to a 10-6 lead, but the bigger concern for the Cavs is the status of Kevin Love, who took a hard hit to the head from Jayson Tatum. Love walked gingerly toward the bench after the collision, and he's now heading back to the locker room.
8:33 p.m. ET - Here we go. The Cavs come out of the locker room ready to defend their Eastern crown. Let's see if the home-court trend continues...
Back in The Land.- Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) May 26, 2018
Back to Business. #WhateverItTakes pic.twitter.com/1cXaXBKREY
8:21 p.m. ET - He's a rookie, but he sure doesn't play like one. What will Jayson Tatum do after a 24-point outing in Game 5?
Jayson Tatum hits the floor ahead of tonight's Game 6 in Cleveland! #TheWarmup https://t.co/FbrEcFvO0v- NBA (@NBA) May 25, 2018
8:04 p.m. ET - Kyle Korver surprisingly played only a little over 18 minutes in the Cavs' Game 5 loss. Cleveland needs his shooting to help space the floor and move the Celtics' defense. Look for him to come off the bench earlier this time around.
Kyle Korver and the @Cavs look to force a GAME 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals with a W tonight!- NBA (@NBA) May 26, 2018
🏀: #WhateverItTakes x #CUsRise G6
📺: @ESPNNBA pic.twitter.com/424EzVYjGZ