They have to be exhausted, and that's no way to go into a series against Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors, who blew Cleveland away in five games past year. They missed 27 straight 3-point attempts.
Curry said someone asked him after the victory if it's still special to get to the finals when it's the fourth time in a row.
"We were in really good shape - really good shape", said an always-stoic Brad Stevens afterwards. During their current era of dominance they had never trailed in a series without the safety net of home court in a potential Game 7.
Just listen to what the Rockets' Eric Gordon, a scoring stud all series who stepped into Chris Paul's spot in Games 6 and 7 after Paul's hamstring injury, had to say in Houston's devastated locker room: "If Chris was out there, we'd be playing on Thursday". "The second half was unbelievable". Cleveland's Kevin Love is in the concussion protocol and will need to complete a series of tests before he's cleared to return, and Golden State's Andre Iguodala - a former NBA Finals MVP - wasn't able to finish the Warriors-Rockets series because of a bone bruise in his leg.
In response to Kerr's comments, Thompson said the Warriors were not anxious because they were more than capable of making an 11-point lead vanish within minutes. "And even in that fourth quarter, we had a lot of opportunities, three opportunities that we were open that just didn't go down". Trevor Ariza was the flawless example of their shortcoming missing all 12 of his shots including nine coming from 3-point range.
Is Stephen Curry exhausted of the LeBron James accolades?
Tatum had a dunk over James with 6:41 left - and stared down the Cavaliers star and bumped him with his chest - and then followed it with a three-pointer that gave the Celtics a 72-71 lead. "If we get a couple of stops and a few threes we're back in it", Kerr said.
Tucker's 3 was the first of seven straight points for Houston which cut the lead to 89-83. Perhaps as a result, Kerr plans to play his top four starters - Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson - for at least 40 minutes each.
Fulham defeat Aston Villa in Championship play-off final to reach Premier League
We saw in this past Premier League season that keeping a Championship core can bring you a successful season. No wonder the Serbian forward says: 'I'm so exhausted right now, like never in my life, I swear.
Houston finally found a little offence after that, using a 7-2 run to cut it to 99-92, but their rally bid came up short.
On this episode of #OutofBounds, take a look at what went wrong for the Rockets in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals.
In both of those games, the Warriors seized control by dominating the third quarters and going on insane runs. "It could have splintered", Curry said in his press conference.
Paul averaged 21.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.8 assists during the playoffs and was competing in the conference finals for the first time in his career.
That's true. It's why James has won six-straight Game 7s, charting back a full decade. It's how you blow a 12-point lead in a close-out game.
The pressure continued in the second, with Clint Capela outstanding on defense for Houston with a string of rebounds.
Green and Durant were barking at each other several times during the game when things weren't going well for the Warriors.