Game 6: Celtics eliminate LeBron, Cavs

The AP reports:

Celtics eliminate LeBron, Cavs

Kevin Garnett scored 22 points and added 12 rebounds, and Rajon Rondo had 21 points and 12 assists to beat Cleveland 94-85 in Game 6 on Thursday night and advance to the Eastern Conference finals. Boston will play the Orlando Magic, who are undefeated in the playoffs…

Despite his sixth career playoff triple-double, James is headed for another early offseason after winning a second MVP award and leading the Cavs to an NBA-best 61 wins and a home-court advantage they never got to use…

James scored 27 points with 10 assists, and his 19 rebounds matched a career-high and were the most he’s ever had in a playoff game. But he also had nine turnovers, and he may have been hobbled by an elbow injury that limited him to dunks and short jumpers, going 8 for 21 from the floor overall…

Mo Williams scored 20 of his 22 points in the first half for the Cavaliers.

Boston’s Paul Pierce scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half after playing just nine minutes—and shooting 1-for-5—in the first with foul trouble…

Antawn Jamison, acquired at the trade deadline from Washington, had just five points…

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports:

The Cavs go into an off-season full of fear and loathing. At the final buzzer, James’ three-year, $42 million contract officially ended.

Attempting to shake off a wave of national criticism about his spiritless play two nights before, James ran a backdoor cut and threw down a two-handed dunk on the Cavs’ first offensive possession to attempt to set a tone. He played with that sort of vigor for the rest of the game, legs pumping, eyes darting and a desire for the ball…

When it wasn’t Garnett in the half court, it was guard Rajon Rondo in the open court. The Cavs tried half a dozen defenders on him, including James, in the series, too. None of them really worked.

It got to the point where the crowd at TD Garden would rise to its feet whenever Rondo got the ball on a fast break, just knowing he was going to do something special. He got plenty of chances in Game 6 — the Cavs turned the ball over a miserable 24 times, costing them 27 points.

The Celtics had 19 fast-break points and Rondo was in charge of them all, scoring 21 points with 12 assists to finish as the best player in the series.

To add insult to the situation, the Celtics’ bench dominated the Cavs’ bench as Tony Allen and Rasheed Wallace combined for 23 points.

The Boston Herald reports:

The Celtics’ physical approach continued to work. The Cavs, stripped of their flow, shot 38.4 percent overall from the field, 29.4 percent from 3-point range and just 70.6 percent from the line.

The Celtics were even worse from the stripe (63.6 percent), but their best work came at the other end.

“We just never got into a rhythm against this team, and they had something to do with it,” Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. “We were trying to get on the floor for loose balls and rebounds, but we just never had a rhythm for the game.

“We made runs, and we even took the lead a couple of times. But it was hard to find the rhythm. They’ve always been a great defensive team. The regular season is a lot different from the postseason. We knew they would be a different team.”

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