Lebron James put together one of the greatest individual performances of his career on Thursday night in Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals series.
James scored 45 points on 19-of-26 shooting from the floor, while adding 15 rebounds and five assists to cap a season-saving 98-79 win over the Boston Celtics at the TD Garden.
It was the type of clutch, dominant performance that many James watchers had been waiting for him to deliver in a playoff game. But now he will have to duplicate the feat to keep his hopes for a first NBA title alive.
The Heat have to get past the Celtics one more time in Game 7 in Miami Saturday night.
I won't regret Game 7, James said. Win, lose, or draw, I'm going to go in with the mindset like I've had this whole season, and, you know, we'll see what happens.
The Heat's win in Game 6 halted the momentum generated by the Celtics during a three-game winning streak that put them on the verge of another trip to the NBA Finals.
The Celtics aren't likely to lie down for King James, however. The team's Big Three know that a loss would likely mark the end of their time together, as Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen will both be free agents after this season.
The Celtics fans know it, too. Sensing they may never see the trio in action together again, the Garden crowd chanted, Let's go, Celtics, for the final three minutes of Game 6, building their side up and giving them a great send-off for the final showdown.
Where To Watch: The game can be viewed online at FirstRowSports. It will also be broadcast nationally on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. EDT.
Prediction: This could be one of the most fiercely contested basketball games in NBA playoff history. Miami got a win in Game 6 thanks in no small part to a horrible shooting night by Boston (1-of-14 from three-point range). If the Heat can keep the Celtics from making their shots on the inside-out game again, they will win. If not, they could be in trouble.
Predicted Score: Boston over Miami, 99-98.