The possibility existed that a loss Sunday would have been James' last game with the Cavaliers. "That's all that matters".
The network's impressive ECF has been matched by TNT's broadcast of the Western Conference Finals, which was up 33 percent from a year ago heading into Golden State's Game 7 win over Houston on Monday night.
James played all 48 minutes of the game, scoring 35 points while recording 15 rebounds and nine assists.
And the Cavaliers will need every bit of it. They were able to take care of the first part - and did it basically without Love, with former Celtics player Jeff Green filling in and having a strong game.
Dear Star Wars fans: Stop pretending you don't want to see Solo
For all the ways Solo could have gone wrong, it wisely aimed for a solid double rather than a grand slam on the first pitch. It was also reported that the lead actor, Alden Ehrenreich , was given an acting coach to improve his performance.
The Celtics led by as many as 12 points in the first half, and they had a 51-47 lead midway through the third quarter when James hit a long three-pointer and then Green made a three of his own. It averaged 13,305,000 viewers, peaking with 17,463,000 viewers from 10:30-11 p.m. ET.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said, "I thought the biggest moment of the game was when we couldn't extend the lead in the second quarter".
"We have one game to be able to compete for a championship, what more can you ask for?" "It's ridiculous and he does it with the pressure and scrutiny". "Doesn't matter. It's just unbelievable".
The Cavs didn't exactly miss Love in his absence against Boston. If both teams stay healthy, Golden State's going to win.
That's despite his Cavs team undergoing several roster changes throughout the season and incurring injuries along the way. They still can surrender open shots everywhere, a flaw that seems fatal against the 3-point happy Rockets or Warriors.
The three-time National Basketball Association champion said he had focused on getting the best out of his team mates all season long.
Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals is a total mismatch, says Jeff Van Gundy
In the early numbers that's up 7% over last year's Game 1 between the winning Pittsburgh Penguins and the Nashville Predators. LeBron James responded to critics wondering if it was good to have the same two teams in the NBA Finals four years in a row.
Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue told reporters Tuesday that Love remains in the NBA's concussion protocol, making his status for Game 1 unknown. I like our chances.
And he'll like them again starting Thursday even if the oddsmakers don't.
And if the game is close late, don't bet against the Cavaliers.
LeBron James, of course, is the biggest reason why Cleveland came back from a 3-2 series deficit.
"It was at points where, 'OK, will the Cavs even make the playoffs?'" James said during an exclusive interview withESPN's Rachel Nicholson Wednesday. I mean, by now you know the drill.
Warriors back in NBA Finals again after test from Rockets
Unlike the Warriors' championship in 2015 or the Cavaliers' title in 2016, one team was very obviously better than the other. Despite the grueling series with the Rockets that went seven games, Warriors fans shouldn't worry about player's focus.
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