The Cleveland Cavaliers were even more short-handed than usual on Friday night, but they got the job done, and now they have to do the seemingly impossible in Boston to continue their run to an NBA Title. LeBron James went off for 46 points in 46 minutes, as the Cavs forced a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals with a 109-99 win over the Boston Celtics at Quicken Loans Arena. James added 11 rebounds and nine assists to help his team overcome the loss of Kevin Love, who left in the first quarter following a collision with Jayson Tatum. Love did not return, as he was being evaluated for a concussion. His status for Game 7 is still unknown. Other contributors stepped up, as George Hill had 20 points and Jeff Green scored 14 for the Cavs, who are looking to get to their fourth straight NBA Finals. It would be James's eighth in a row, including his time with the Miami Heat. Terry Rozier led the Celtics with 28 points and Jaylen Brown finished with 27, but Boston fell to 1-6 on the road this postseason. They trailed for a majority of the night, but did get the deficit down to seven in the final three minutes before James stepped up with a couple huge three-pointers to keep the Cavs ahead for good. These two teams will do battle one more time this season in the decisive Game 7 on Sunday at the TD Garden, where the Celtics are 10-0 this postseason. A loss for the Cavaliers in that game could definitely spell the end of James's time in Cleveland.
Torres Homers in Fourth Straight Game as Yankees Win
The New York Yankees just seem to always find those young stars to come up in their system and produce right away, and they have lucked in to another one of those in Gleyber Torres. The second baseman became the fourth-youngest player in MLB history to homer in four consecutive games with a long ball on Friday night, as the Yankees got past the Los Angeles Angels, 2-1, at Yankee Stadium. Torres went deep in the seventh inning to put his team ahead for good, as, at 21 years old, he also becomes the youngest American League player to go deep in four straight contests. Only Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, and Andrew Jones has recorded the feat at a younger age, but all did it in the National League. The young stud has recorded this success in just 28 games with the Yankees this season. Aaron Judge also stepped up from the outfield by throwing out two runners on the base paths, including a line drive to get Kole Calhoun out at the plate on a Justin Upton single. He also got Martin Maldonaldo at second base trying to stretch a single in to a double. Shohei Ohtani had a big matchup in the eighth inning, with a chance to tie or give his team the lead, but he struck out against the flame-throwing Aroldis Chapman. Mike Trout's solo home run was the lone run of the game for the Angels, who fell to 0-4 on the year against the Yankees. These two teams have two more games this weekend, including on Baseball Night in America on Saturday night.
Betts, Martinez Continue to Slug For Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox remain a game ahead of the New York Yankees in the AL East Division, and they can thank two big-time sluggers for that success. Those two produced again on Friday night, including Mookie Betts hitting his major league-leading 17th home run in the Red Sox's 6-2 win over the first-place Atlanta Braves. Betts' long ball came in the seventh inning, and was one of four home runs on the night for the Red Sox. That included his teammate that is right behind him in the home run race, as J.D. Martinez hit his 16th of the year in the win. Unfortunately for Home Run Derby fans, both of those players have already stated that they will not enter the contest this season, joining defending champion, Aaron Judge, as players who have declined to enter. Mitch Moreland and Xander Bogaerts also went deep for the Red Sox, who parted ways with Hanley Ramirez earlier Friday. The veteran was designated for assignment on Friday afternoon, as the team activated Dustin Pedroia from the disabled list. Pedroia did not play on Friday night, but the Red Sox earned their fifth win in the past six games. Eduardo Rodriguez overcame early struggles to improve to 5-1 on the season and finished with seven strikeouts on the day. Nick Markakis's two-run double was the only source of offense for the Braves, who have lost three of four. Julio Teheran lasted six innings and gave up three runs on four hits in his second loss. This interleague series continues with a matinee matchup on Saturday afternoon.