Jayson Tatum turned in another big playoff performance for the Boston Celtics, who scored a 96-83 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Boston Celtics Game 5
Jayson Tatum (0) celebrates with Terry Rozier (12) after making a 3-pointer during Game 5 of the Boston Celtics Game 5 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2018 Eastern Conference finals. (Image: Matt Store/Boston Herald)

The Celtics now have a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series, putting them just one win away from earning a spot in the NBA Finals.

Tatum led the way with 24 points, marking the ninth time this postseason that the rookie as scored at least 20 points.

I cant say it enough: were one win away from being in the finals, Tatum said following the win. The playoffs bring the best out of people.

Home Court Advantage Holds Up

Boston jumped out to a big lead in the first quarter, leading 32-19 after the first period. Cleveland was never able to put together much of a threat, and while the game never got completely away from them, they were never close to retaking the lead, either.

The game maintained the predictable pattern of this series, with all five games going to the home team so far, and none of the contests being particularly close. The Celtics acknowledged their home court advantage after their latest win.

Here, I just think that our guys just feel comfortable and good, said Al Horford, who scored 15 points and added 12 rebounds. Its a credit to the atmosphere thats here. Its just a lot of fun to play in right now.

Is LeBron Getting Tired?

Cleveland was once again led by LeBron James, who scored 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a losing effort. And in a familiar story for Cavs fans, James got little help from his teammates. With the exception of Kevin Love, who contributed 14 points and seven rebounds, nobody else scored more than eight points on Wednesday night.

Perhaps more concerning for the Cavaliers was the fact that LeBron looked exhausted as the game wore on. With Cleveland needing to win the final two games of the series to advance, theyll need James at his best to have a chance to get back to the NBA Finals.

James only scored two points in the fourth quarter, and acknowledged that fatigue was becoming an issue.

I had my moments, but I think everybody at this point is tired, worn down, whatever the case may be, James told reporters.

With the Celtics only needing to win one more game and knowing theyll be back home for Game 7 if they need it Boston is clearly the favorite to win the series, and will likely remain so even if they drop Game 6.

Bovada has the Cavaliers as a seven-point favorite to win at home on Friday. But for the series, they list Boston as a -190 favorite, a clear sign of respect for how difficult it has been to beat the Celtics on their court.

Knowing that theyll have to win at TD Garden to advance is a heavy mental hurdle for the Cavaliers to get over. But James says that his team knows they have to take care of business at home first.

Im not worried about a Game 7, James told reporters. You have to worry about Game 6.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *