Cleveland Cavaliers vs Boston Celtics: Lineups, preview & prediction 5/23/18
Having held home court to square the Eastern Conference finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers have a high-stakes showdown Wednesday versus the Celtics in Boston for Game 5.
(Photo credit: USA TODAY Sports via Reuters/David Richard)
LeBron James and the Cavaliers turned this series into a best-of-three after posting back-to-back victories in Cleveland. James was again at his all-world best in Monday night’s 111-102 victory in Game 4, finishing with 44 points on 17-of-28 shooting, and getting help as the Cavaliers raced to a 16-point lead after the first quarter and turned back multiple challenges from the Celtics.
Kyle Korver came off the bench to score 14 points and also shined defensively with an unexpected three blocked shots. Tristan Thompson contributed 13 points and 12 rebounds and George Hill also had 13 points to help pick up Kevin Love, who finished with nine points on three-of-12 shooting.
James has now recorded six 40-point games in this postseason, tying him with Allen Iverson (2001) for the third-most by any player. Only Michael Jordan (seven, 1989) and Jerry West (eight, 1965) have recorded more in one postseason, and the way James is playing and needs to play, it is possible he could run the table and set the record while reaching the NBA Finals for the eighth straight year and dragging Cleveland to their fourth in a row.
Jaylen Brown scored 25 points and Terry Rozier added 16, 11 assists, six rebounds and three steals for the Celtics, who will look to regain their mojo in the friendly and raucous confines of TD North Garden. Boston are 9-0 there this postseason, averaging 110.1 points and shooting 38.7 percent from 3-point range while limiting opponents to 98.8 points per contest after winning the first two games of this series by a combined 38 points.
The Celtics are hoping the return to Boston will get Jayson Tatum going again. He has averaged 16.0 points in this series and failed to reach 20 in any of the first four contests after contributing 23.6 points per contest in the five-game semifinal series win over Philadelphia that capped a franchise-rookie record of seven straight 20-point games by the No. 3 overall pick.