Published: Thu, May 31, 2018
Sport | By Stuart Potter

Cavaliers to start Green in Game 7 with Kevin Love out

Cavaliers to start Green in Game 7 with Kevin Love out

The Cleveland Cavaliers are going to need all the help they can get if they want any chance of upsetting the Golden State Warriors in the 2018 NBA Finals. He missed the next night's contest and returned to the floor on March 30.

James punching yet another ticket to the NBA Finals adds to his legacy that many have already said warrants consideration as the best player of all-time. (LeBron) played all 82 games in his 15th season.

The Cavaliers were only +180 underdogs when they upended Golden State in the 2016 Finals.

Tatum hit a 3-pointer after his driving dunk over James put Boston up 72-71 with 6:04 remaining in the game, but Green answered with another trey at the 5:44 mark, and Cleveland didn't relinquish the lead after that.

Green performed well in replacing Love in Game 6, finishing with 14 points, three rebounds and two blocks off the bench.

He's also now won six successive Game 7's and even in his 15th year in the league, he's showing he's still a man for the big occasion. In Love's absence, forward Jeff Green got the start and recorded 19 points, 8 rebounds and 1 assist.

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Green, who finished the night 2-for-9 from beyond the arc, was asked about the Celtics daring him to shoot the 3 in Game 7. He totaled 81 points, 26 rebounds and 18 assists without Love. It matched Game 7 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals: the Miami Heat and LeBron James vs. the Boston Celtics.

Love has struggled mightily against the Warriors on the NBA's biggest stage. This season, however, it was not just any conference Finals experience, because they truly competed.

The Cavs were stunned when Irving requested a trade after last year's Finals, saying he wanted to be "the focal point" of a team. No other Cavs are scoring in double digits.

And what James accomplished Sunday night is rightfully drawing universal raves.

The Cavaliers spent most of the third quarter, too, trying to fully overcome that 12-point hole they had fallen into in the first half - and used their defense to do it. Overall, the 2018 NBA Playoffs on ESPN - 19 games - averaged a 3.8 metered market rating, up 31 percent from previous year. Both teams shot under 50% from the field as Cleveland shot 45.5% and Boston shot a putrid 34.1% from the field.

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