Al Horford, Celtics see shot at Finals slip away

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry gestures during the second half of Game 6 of the NBA basketball Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets in Oakland Calif. Saturday

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry gestures during the second half of Game 6 of the NBA basketball Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets in Oakland Calif. Saturday

"Our trainers are working on him 24 hours a day, almost", D'Antoni said. "That's all that matters".

The Rockets and Harden host the reigning champion Golden State Warriors in a decisive game seven of the Western Conference final with a trip to the NBA Finals on the line against LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers, who put away the Boston Celtics in their own Game 7 duel, 87-79.

Houston's Most Valuable Player candidate James Harden dominated early, finishing with 32 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.

And the Cavaliers will need every bit of it.

The fact that anyone would believe the Celtics could shoot so poorly and still win an important game is a testament to the resiliency they showed all season. "They will eventually test it and see if there's any possibility whatsoever". "I think when you have so many challenges and things throughout the year that we've had and people have had around here - individual stuff, team stuff - and then you come out in really tough playoffs, full rounds, just there's really something special about it".

"And he does it at this level with the pressure and scrutiny", he added. "Doesn't matter. It's just unbelievable".

Tatum admitted that James seeking him out after the final buzzer meant a lot to first-year player. Kyrie Irving had been traded to Boston in the offseason, Isaiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose weren't the answers as his replacement, and Kevin Love missed significant time with injuries. Both teams struggled to make shots and looked tired.

Houston Rockets guard James Harden left and forward Trevor Ariza sit on the bench during the second half of Game 6 of the NBA basketball Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland Calif. Saturday
Watch Cavs vs Celtics Game 7 Online Free ESPN Live Streaming NBA Playoffs

Tatum finished with 351 total points in 19 playoff appearances. The 22-year-old scored two points and grabbed two rebounds and a steal in four minutes in Game 6.

Most NBA insiders have said James is not returning to Cleveland in July, when he can exercise an option to get out of his contract and return to free agency. 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.

Warriors swing man Andre Iguodala will not play in Game 7 against the Rockets, the team announced Monday. I like our chances.

Though they had some great moments on the court together during the season, it was clear that Wade would be better off playing for the Heat again. He has a plus-minus ratio of positive-10 the last three games.

ESPN's Conference Finals coverage Sunday averaged a 6.3 metered market rating, up 37 percent from the same matchup in the Eastern Conference Finals past year and up 34 percent from its Western Conference Finals coverage in 2017.

The Warriors have never lacked confidence in this series, even while falling into a 3-2 deficit.




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