Cavs survive, make second round
CLEVELAND — LeBron James wasn’t ready to go home or to Philadelphia or Los Angeles.
He’s heading to Toronto, bringing a Cavaliers team that isn’t done yet.
Unwilling to sit despite battling leg cramps in the second half, James scored 45 points and got some much-needed help from his teammates in Game 7 to stay unbeaten in the opening round of the NBA playoffs, leading the Cavaliers to a 105-101 win on Sunday (Monday morning Philippine time) over the Indiana Pacers, who pushed the game’s best player to the breaking point.
Following the game, an exhausted James said the series took a physical toll.
“I’m burnt right now,” he said. “I’m not thinking about Toronto right now until tomorrow. I’m ready to go home. Can we? I’m tired. I want to go home.”
James added nine rebounds, seven assists and played over 43 minutes while improving to 13-0 in the first round. He kept Cleveland’s strange season alive — for the time being — but it took everything the 33-year-old and the Cavs had to hold off the Pacers, who came in confident after a 34-point win in Game 6.
But James, who at times seemed to be playing the Pacers by himself in the series, pulled the Cavs back from the brink of elimination and at least delayed any more talk about impending free agency.
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