NBA Playoffs 2018: Cavaliers vs


Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers players had to be separated during a brief scuffle in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Each contest has held true to the same basic formula of the home team dominating and winning comfortably.

Game 2 was the most unique game of the series.

Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James led Cleveland with 26 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. The Celtics scored nine in a row at the end of the first quarter and into the second to take a 36-19 lead, their biggest of the game. The Cavs never trailed by fewer than six points after that and were defeated 107-94.

Game 6 is in Cleveland on Friday night, with the decisive seventh game back in Boston on Sunday if necessary. The Celtics won the bout 96-83, taking a 3-2 lead in the series. "I haven't always been successful, obviously, I haven't won every elimination game, but I've had some really good games and I've had some sub-par games as well".

The home/road splits have been stark for Boston the entire postseason. We just can't expect coming home and in front of our great fans and crowd that we're going to win the game. Wednesday night, Boston absolutely obliterated the Cavaliers on fast-break points 18-2. James turned the ball over six times and couldn't finish easily at the rim like he has at other times this postseason. "Just try to get as much optimal sleep as possible, stay in the training room getting treatment and also putting in the work as well to keep your body in tune and in rhythm".

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LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on in the second half of Game 5 of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on May 23, 2018 in Boston. George Hill and Jordan Clarkson have lacked a level of consistency, and J.R. Smith is J.R. Smith.

It hasn't been just the playoffs that have been a grind on the center of the Cavaliers' universe. He's still doing work on the defensive end (1.4 spg and almost a block per contest) and he got his free throw percentage up from last year's dismal 67.4 percent to 73.1, closer to his career average.

Tatum was meant to be a key player in the Boston Celtics rotation since being drafted with the third overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, but his role went up another notch with the unexpected loss of Gordon Hayward to start the season and Kyrie Irving's season-ending surgery, which thrusted the need for another scorer.

Down three games to two, with a must-win Game 6 set for 8:30 p.m.

This was Tatum's ninth 20-point game of the postseason; he now sits fourth on the NBA's all-time list of most postseason points by a rookie with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (352) in his sights if Boston can extend its playoff run.

James himself is seeking an eighth straight trip to the title series, although he said that streak wouldn't be on his mind come Friday.