Celtics upend Cavaliers, now within win of NBA Finals

Boston's young guns star as Celtics blast Cavs for 3-2 series lead

About two months ago, a small pocket of Celtics players engaged in one of the basketball world's most popular debates: Michael Jordan or LeBron James? He looked exhausted at times and couldn't will his team over the hump.

In game five, ESPN made it a point to keep showing the fatigue that LeBron was facing throughout the game. If that comes to pass, the true challenge will be finding a way to buck the trend of the series and get a win when they head back to Boston for Game 7.

James isn't going to go away quietly.

"Not at all", he said. The game was there for the taking, but the Cavs couldn't buy a shot when they needed it. This series has all the looks of a seven-game thriller as both teams have been solid at home so far, so I like LeBron and the Cavaliers bouncing back here, but I just don't feel comfortable laying this many points.

Tatum was effective but relatively workmanlike in the first four games of the East finals, scoring no more than 18 points in any of the contests.

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).

And with the series tied 2-2, Cleveland remained the favorite (-190). But if Cleveland doesn't figure out how to counter Stevens's defensive adjustments and get some help for James, the Cavs will have nearly no chance of making the NBA Finals for the fourth straight year. He is running at 40.6 minutes per game with 33.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 8.8 assists. 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.

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"At one point we had two opportunities to cut it to single digits and missed some really good looks, two three-pointers".

"We had moments but we just didn't make enough plays". However, Tatum's role has expanded greatly in the playoffs and, while some of that is due to the absence of Irving (and Gordon Hayward), the first-year standout has taken things in stride and performed at a remarkably high level for his age. "We gotta get one more, though". "It doesn't get any better than that", he said.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have played in the NBA Finals for the last three years.

As officials and other players intervened Celtics guard Terry Rozier raced into the fray and pushed Nance.

When the best player in the world is wearing a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform, it is easy to ignore the other good players on the court.

LeBron James doesn't offer praise just to be nice to another player on another team.

"We just can't expect coming home and in front of our great fans and crowd that we're going to win the game", Lue said.

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