National Basketball Association playoffs wrap: Celtics win Game 5 over Cavaliers


The sword of Damocles has moved.

Morris got in a quick shove in return and officials and other players intervened - not before Celtics guard Terry Rozier raced into the fray and pushed Nance.

Game six of the Eastern Conference finals is tonight as the Cleveland Cavaliers look to avoid elimination at home against the Boston Celtics. The Cavs had a similar victory when they returned to Quicken Loans Arena, taking a 34-19 lead into the second quarter and winning Game 3 by 30 points.

LeBron James made only three of 14 shots in a 120-88 defeat.

King James now famously said after dropping the series opener that he had "zero level of concern". If the Cavs win that game and extend the series to a seventh and final game, it will be fascinating to see if he can push past his exhaustion one more time and lead Cleveland to a fourth straight NBA Finals.

And you can't blame him.

"You're asking me confidence?" "We've played really bad here in Boston, and they probably feel the same way on how they played in Cleveland". "I think that's when I have the most fun, when things are on the line".

"I'm not anxious about a Game 7". You have to worry about Game 6.

In doing so, Jayson Tatum is gaining the confidence and experience that will take his career a long way and perhaps into something legendary.

Back and forth the Celtics went, arguing who deserves the title of greatest player ever. As much work as that took, the Clevelanders still appeared out-hustled in general.

There has been no place like home for the Celtics this postseason.

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LeBron made half his 22 shots, but he passed up some others after getting near the hoop. Then Lue meant to have James start the fourth quarter after giving him some rest at the end of the third. His promotion to the starting rotation also left 23-year-old forward Semi Ojeleye out of the rotation, a matchup Cleveland Coach Tyronn Lue preferred for his sharpshooter, Kyle Korver - Ojeleye averaged 13.3 minutes in this series leading up to Game 5.

Though a reporter asked how he felt, James did volunteer that he was exhausted.

"I had my moments, but I think everybody at this point is exhausted, worn down whatever the case may be", he said.

When the Cavs did get quality looks - often from James, whose usage percentage ballooned to 37.8 - the unpredictable role players couldn't capitalize.

"No", he said. "No". One of you guys did. James tops Jordan in more categories, but the Bulls being a far better team plays into it as well.

Lue said he doesn't believe any of that's weighed on his players - though it's damn sure it's been running through the front office minds.

"Uh-oh", Lue said Thursday as he punched in a code to silence the screaming siren. "That's all we're focused on right now". We've got to be ready to play Game 6. "That's all we're anxious about".

I could go through the rest of the roster, but we know that when the non-LeBron Cavs struggle to contribute, they're doomed. "Obviously, everybody knows the games are coming up pretty quick".

"I've been in championship mode since probably '09". We weren't able to get there then.

Yes, it finally happened. He turned it over seven times when the Cavs won Game 4, 111-102.

And even though few expected the Cavaliers to beat either Golden State or Houston in the NBA Finals, the James critics were already preparing to throw shade on his NBA Finals history legacy (he is 3-5 in the Finals).