LeBron James showed why he’s the NBA’s reigning MVP as he put on one of his greatest postseason performances to help the Miami Heat force a seventh game in the Eastern Conference finals.

James shot 19-for-26 from the field and finished with 45 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Heat’s 98-79 rout of the Celtics in Boston. He ended up four points shy of his playoff career-high while playing 45 minutes, not sitting down until the victory was long secured.

James was outstanding while his teammates combined to shoot 36 percent from the floor. Dwyane Wade shot 6-for-17 in scoring 17 points. No other Miami player had more than nine points.

The Celtics had their own shooting problems, shooting 1-for-14 from beyond the arc. Paul Pierce missed 14 of his 18 field-goal attempts and was held to nine points. Rajon Rondo had team-highs of 21 points and 10 assists but also had seven turnovers.

Game 7 will be Saturday at Miami. Meanwhile, the Oklahoma City Thunder are awaiting the series winner after disposing of San Antonio in the Western Conference finals.

Game 1 of the finals will be Tuesday at Oklahoma City.

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