LeBron James didn’t let a little pain keep him from forcing a Game 7 against the Boston Celtics with a monster effort on Friday night.
James finished with 46 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in a 109-99 win at Quicken Loans Arena, tying the Eastern Conference finals at 3-3, but a fourth quarter incident with his own teammate surely gave Cavaliers’ fans some worry.
As James turned to return up the court after a play, teammate Larry Nance Jr. fell into his right leg and caused it to buckle. James was noticeably affected, but stayed on the court to make sure the game didn’t get away from them.
“I just felt someone fall into my leg, and my leg kind of went in,” James explained from the postgame podium.
“I felt some pain throughout my entire right side of my ankle into my leg. I was just hoping for the best, obviously, because I’ve seen so many different injuries, and watching basketball with that type of injury, someone fall into one’s leg standing straight up. Luckily, I was able to finish the game.”
And, what a finish. He scored on the next play and posted 12 of his 46 points after the collision.
Now, his focus turns to Game 7 and what he’ll do to get ready, especially with teammate Kevin Love potentially sidelined. Love lasted just five minutes before leaving with a possible concussion after a collision with Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum.
“As soon as I leave here, I’ll start to prepare,” James said of his treatment regimen.
“I’m going to get in the car and head back to Akron. As soon as I get home, I’ll start my treatment. I’ll do the same all day (Saturday) from before we leave to go to Boston, and then once we get into Boston, I’ll do that as well. Try to get as much sleep as I can with tonight and with tomorrow and even on Sunday before the game. That’s the best recovery that you can possibly get, is when you’re sleeping. It’ll be around-the-clock treatment, and we’ll see what happens.”
Game 7 of the series is Sunday night in Boston, with the winner meeting either Houston or Golden State in the NBA Finals. The Rockets take a 3-2 series lead into Game 6 of the Western Conference finals in Oakland on Saturday night.
“Feels good just to be able to play for another game,” James said after the game. “I’ve always said Game 7 is the best two hours in sports, so let’s go have fun with it.”
—Field Level Media