Lucky 7? For LBJ, it's anything but luck in winner-take-all games

Colton Jones

LeBron James led the Cleveland Cavaliers to an 87-79 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday night at TD Garden.

The victory in the winner-take-all contest in Boston, where the Celtics had won all 10 playoff games this spring including Games 1, 2 and 5 in this series, makes it six consecutive Game 7 triumphs for James, the last three in Cleveland.

Where does James' 35-point, 15-rebound, 9-assist, 2-block performance Sunday night rank among his accomplishments in Game 7s?

"He's had a lot of gaudy games, but I just think Game 7, in Boston, all the circumstances that surround Boston ... to come here in a hostile environment, Game 7, Eastern Conference Finals," Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. "This and Game 7 of the Finals 2016, right there."

During the 2015 NBA Finals, said playing all 48 minutes in a game was not something even he could do.

"I play extremely hard throughout the postseason and I'd be cheating my team if I said I could go out and play 48 minutes," James said at the time. "I think that's impossible."

While there's seemingly nothing LeBro can't do on the court, at least we know he's not perfect. He can be wrong.

James played from wire-to-wire in ending the Celtics' season.

"It was asked of me tonight to play the whole game, and I just tried to figure out how I could get through it," James said. "Throughout timeouts, I was able to catch my breath. At halftime, I didn't come out and warm up. That was my time to recalibrate and catch my wind again."

After leading the NBA in minutes played during the regular season, James is doing the same in the playoffs. Playing in all 82 games for the first time in his already-storied 15-season career, James played in the 100th game of his season Sunday night.

“Our goal going into the series was to make him exert as much energy as humanly possible and try to be as good as we can on everybody else, who are good players,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.

In hindsight, we know how that worked out for the Boston.

“For the most part, I thought we were pretty good at that. Multiple games now in TD Garden, held them under 100, three games in the 80s.

"But he still scored 35. It’s a joke.”

Following is a breakdown of LeBron'a Game 7 performances, which began with two straight losses and now continues with six consecutive victories:

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Cavaliers vs. Pistons (May 21, 2006)

Round: Eastern Conference semifinals

Result: Pistons 79, Cavaliers 61

LeBron's line: 27 points (11 of 24), 8 rebounds, 2 assists

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Cavaliers vs. Celtics (May 18, 2008)

Round: Eastern Conference semifinals

Result: Celtics 97, Cavaliers 92

LeBron's line: 45 points (14 of 29), 5 rebounds, 6 assists

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Celtics vs. Heat (June 9, 2012)

Round: Eastern Conference Finals

Result: Heat 101, Celtics 88

LeBron's line: 31 points (9 of 21), 12 rebounds, 2 assists

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Heat vs. Pacers (June 3, 2013)

Round: Eastern Conference Finals

Result: Heat 99, Pacers 76

LeBron's line: 32 points (8 of 17), 8 rebounds, 4 assists

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Heat vs. Spurs (June 20, 2013)

Round: NBA Finals

Result: Heat 95, Spurs 88

LeBron's line: 37 points (12 of 23), 12 rebounds, 4 assists

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Cavaliers vs. Warriors (June 19, 2016)

Round: NBA Finals

Result: Cavaliers 93, Warriors 89

LeBron's line: 27 points (9 of 24), 11 rebounds, 11 assists

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Cavaliers vs. Pacers (April 29, 2018)

Round: First round

Result: Cavaliers 105, Pacers 101

LeBron's line: 45 points (16 of 25), 8 rebounds, 7 assists

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Cavaliers vs. Celtics (May 27, 2018)

Round: Eastern Conference Finals

Result: Cavaliers 87, Celtics 79

LeBron's line: 35 points (12 of 24), 15 rebounds, 9 assists

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