James scores 45, sends East finals to Game 7

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BOSTON (AP) -- LeBron James had 45 points and 15 rebounds, overwhelming the Boston Celtics and leading the Miami Heat to a 98-79 victory Thursday night that forced a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals.

Pushing away elimination right along with every defender who tried to stop him, James shot 19 of 26 from the field and finished four points shy of his playoff career-high while playing 45 minutes, not sitting down until the victory was long secured.

Dwyane Wade added 17 points for the Heat, who need a victory in Game 7 on Saturday in Miami to return to the NBA finals.

Rajon Rondo had 21 points and 10 assists for Boston. Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass each scored 12 points, but Paul Pierce had only nine on 4-of-18 shooting.