LeBron James scores 35 as Cavs advance to NBA Finals

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, right, celebrates a basket during the second half in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics

LeBron James on Sunday scored 35 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to an 87-79 victory over the Boston Celtics to send his team to the NBA Finals.

James has been in the finals every year since 2011 — four with Miami, and now four straight with Cleveland. This might be his weakest supporting cast year.

He had to do it without Kevin Love — Cleveland’s only other all-star — who sustained a concussion in Game 6 and was replaced in the lineup by Jeff Green. Making his first start since the first-round opener against Indiana, Green scored 19 points and added eight rebounds — the star of James’ starless supporting cast.

“There’s something different about LeBron, period,” Cleveland forward Larry Nance Jr. said on Friday. “I think [coach Tyronn Lue] said it best: ‘We’re going into a Game 7 with the baddest dude on the planet on our team.’ I like our chances.”

The NBA Finals begin Thursday at either Houston or Golden State. The Rockets host the seventh game of the West finals on Monday night.

Jayson Tatum scored 24, Al Horford scored 17 and Marcus Morris added 14 points with 12 rebounds for the Celtics, who were looking to return to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010.

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