Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving underwent surgery for deviated septum

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

LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers have eliminated Aron Baynes' Boston Celtics, advancing to the NBA Finals series.

LeBron James had just clinched his eighth straight trip to the NBA Finals, but before celebrating in the quiet TD Garden, he scanned the parquet floor. They have to be exhausted, and that's no way to go into a series against Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and the Warriors, who blew Cleveland away in five games previous year, or James Harden and a Rockets team that can be every bit as potent on one end and lock teams down on the other. Rookie Jayson Tatum led the home team with 24 points, highlighted by a poster dunk on James in the fourth quarter.

Boston's season ended with an 87-79 loss to Cleveland in Game 7. Despite the fact that Cleveland shot just 9-for-35 (25.7 percent) from three-point range and posted just 15 assists as a team, they made the right plays down the stretch and had the mental fortitude to hold onto their late lead.

Although, if James keeps playing the way he has this postseason and keeps reaching the Finals year after year, who knows? He's squaring up against the Celtics, marking the third time he's played the franchise in a Game 7, and the second time he's done so in Boston.

As his 2007 appearance stands alone, James is now running a hot streak of 8 straight Finals appearances, 4 straight each between his stints with the Cavs since 2015 and the Miami Heat from 2011-2014.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Le Bron James off the court after embracing Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum following the Cavaliers' 87-79 victory in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals Sunday

"I don't think any of us can really understand", said Ainge. And yet two days - and two all-time postseason performances from James - later, Cleveland found itself where it expected to wind up all along, back atop the Eastern Conference and ready for one last ride on what's been a roller coaster of a season. They have one road win in the playoffs but are 10-0 at home, where their crowd and perhaps even the banners that hang high above the parquet have helped.

Marcus Morris got one back from the line, but the Celtics missed two 3-pointers for a one-point game. Jeff Green stepped up to score 19 points and grab eight boards. "You just have to have ideal intentions", Stevens said Saturday.

Irving played for the Cavaliers from 2011-17.

But ultimately Boston's terrible 3-point shooting (7-of-39) and 29-percent second-half shooting did the team in.

Celtics: Paul Pierce, whose number was retired by the Celtics this season, cheered the team on from courtside.

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