This seems obvious. When playing a four-time MVP, you should hope to make him earn everything he gets. It was also his last Game 7 until he conquered the Indiana Pacers in the first round of this year's postseason.
The NBA will be handing out a silver trophy Sunday night at TD Garden, not the gold; James has had his hands on eight of those already.
Even still, the Celtics got the last laugh, but it would have been a whole lot sweeter had they been able to knock off the Cavaliers in Game 7 and advance to the NBA Finals.
Just like their opening-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Celtics have won three at home and lost three on the road in this series.
The Boston Celtics had home court advantage, and with it a number of opportunities to do what no team has done in almost a decade which is send LeBron James home without a trip to the NBA Finals. He shot 17-of-33 from the floor and hit 5-of-7 3-pointers in the 109-99 victory.
Facing elimination from the playoffs and potentially missing out on a NBA Finals for the first time since 2010, all the pressure was on James to put in a performance to save the Cavaliers. But a thin supporting cast is made much more noticeable with the absence of Love.
"Not all 48, no", Lue said. Stevens said the team doctors checked on him "and he's great".
"I didn't see him coming", said Tatum, who stayed in the game and played 39 minutes.
"Kevin wanted to play, to be in a Game 7 situation like this in the Eastern Conference Finals, being an All-Star, being our second-best player, and he just wasn't able to go".
"We got to be ready to come up with our nose bloodied, we got to be ready to come out with our mouth bloodied, we have to come out ready to fight".
LeBron James isn't going down without a fight.
James was there for all of it, playing in all 82 games for the first time in his career and leading the league in minutes.
If that doesn't smell enough like victory to you, then consider that Friday's Game 6 was up almost 6% from the Celtics' winning Game 5 of May 23, which also topped that night.