Kyrie Irving did not attend Game 7 due to deviated septum surgery

Lawrence Cooper
May 29, 2018

Cleveland was playing without All-Star forward Kevin Love, who is in the concussion protocol.

The Celtics were hanging on to the season for dear life down three with 3:47 to play when the Celtics forced a miss out of a timeout. But when it ends, it's painful.

So one of the most unlikely runs to the NBA's championship round falls one step short. He also has his eye on the Celtics' 10-0 record at TD Garden in the 2018 NBA Playoffs and is aware Cleveland has seized important games on the road, including two at top-seeded Toronto.

Since LeBron James is rumored to decline his player option for next season this summer, there's a chance that he could be wearing another jersey in the fall. First in Miami and now in his second tour of duty in Cleveland, James has frustrated, tormented and extinguished the championship hopes of a string of Celtics teams.

James turned in a monster performance earlier in this postseason.

"Kyrie had a deviated septum, had some surgery on that, and so I don't think he wanted to be seen", Ainge said. I'm trying to squeeze this orange and get the most juice out of it that I can. But he scored only 15 points in Game 1 and 26 in Game 5. 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.

But the Cavs rallied in the second half, with the scoreline finely balanced and the lead changing hands several times over the rest of the match.

The third quarter was a disaster for the Celtics.

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The low-scoring game saw both teams struggle beyond the 3-point line.

That set up the doomsday scenario for any National Basketball Association coach.

"You never want to put a ceiling on yourself and your group", Stevens said.

He was looking for Jayson Tatum. He hit a 3l and actually threw down a facial dunk on the King, complete with a cheap chest bump to follow.

It's a debate is as old as time - well, since James was drafted into the league, at least. Unfortunately for Boston, they shot just 34.1 percent in front of their home fans, including an abysmal 7-for-39 showing from three-point range.

James, playing in his 100th match of the season, logged in a full 48 minutes.

"Training camp can't come soon enough", head coach Brad Stevens said.

If the seven players who carried the Celtics to the brink of the last dance represented the sole returning talent next year, we'd still be talking about them as potential finalists.

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