The momentum of the series shifted slightly as the Cleveland Cavaliers tied up the Eastern Conference Finals 2-2. Heading back to Boston a place where the Celtics have flourished all postseason, the Cavaliers looked to end the Celtics unbeaten streak at home in the 2018 Playoffs. The momentum did not remain and the Celtics certainly were not ready to lose at home.
Celtics Rookie Jayson Tatum was announced as one of the NBA’s 2018-2018 First All-Rookie team earlier this week. Tatum would finish the game with 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. The leading scorer of the Celtics and already playing on one of the NBA’s biggest stage. The bench support for Boston came from Marcus Morris who scored 13 points and Marcus Smart who scored 13 himself. As for the Celtics defense they were able to hold LeBron James to only two fourth quarter points.
The Cavaliers were led by none other than, James who scored 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. He also had 5 assist and 6 turnovers. Kevin Love was the only other Cavalier to register double digits scoring with 14 points on 6-for-13 shooting from the field. While the Celtics shot 36-percent from the field against the Cavaliers 42-percent, there was a struggle for Cleveland again from the three-point line. The Cavaliers finished the game shooting 26-percent from downtown.
The Celtics built a 21-point lead in the fourth-quarter and the the closest the Cavaliers would get is within 12 points. There was no looking back as Al Horford slammed in an alley-oop from Terry Rozier and put the Celtics up 85-71 with just under six minutes left in the fourth.
The Cavaliers will host the Celtics in Game 6. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 PM EST on ESPN.
”We’re looking forward to having an opportunity to force a Game 7,” said James. ”It’s up to us to see if we can come back here for one more.”
James is seeking his eight straight NBA Finals appearance but that is in jeopardy in Game 6 should the Celtics prevail. When asked about his fatigue level James responded, ”I had my moments, but I think everybody at this point is tired, worn down whatever the case may be,” he said. ”I was still trying to make plays, put our team in position to win.”
While the Celtics are on the road and have been shaky, history tell us teams that win Game 5 to take a 3-2 lead in a best-of-seven series win 83 percent of the time.
Baseline Times Contributor