But the Celtics seem to have a better look, starting Aron Baynes for his size against Tristan Thompson and bringing in Marcus Morris to help wear down James late in the game. Jayson Tatum looked like a veteran out there as he led the team with 24 points, seven rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocks, Jaylen Brown added 17 points while Al Horford chipped in with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Game 6 between the Celtics and Cavs is Friday in Cleveland.
He might not enjoy this position, but he's pretty good in it.
"Now, we're facing elimination and we're going back home".
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Each contest has held true to the same basic formula of the home team dominating and winning comfortably.
Ty Lue, shockingly, kept his best shooter on the bench for the entire first quarter. There is a greater than even chance the Cavs do not advance to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2014, and James does not advance to the last round for the first time since 2010.
The real possibility that James was playing his last game in Cleveland hung over the game - and this city - in the hours leading to tip-off. Four of the five games have been decided by double digits, and the Celtics barely kept Game 4 within single digits when they lost 111-102. They haven't won in Boston all series.
"I had my moments", James said when asked if he was exhausted.
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Boston's improbable run through the postseason without injured stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward will now take the Celtics back home, where they play with more intensity, togetherness and before fans hungry to see an 18th title banner raised to their arena's rafters.
With the game being shown on TV, it will also be available on the BT Sport app. If this group, with Love or without him, has anything left Sunday, buckle up.
"We've got to be focused, composed and play with a lot of poise and we'll be fine", he said, clearly up for the challenge. "I think everybody at this point is exhausted or worn down".
Head coach Tyronn Lue of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first half of the National Basketball Association game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on March 13, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. "I'm going to be hurting tomorrow".
Golden State Warriors vs
Iguodala and McCaw being out means two wing players with defensive chops to throw at Paul and James Harden aren't available. Durant and Curry are taking more than half of Golden State's shots, as opposed to 41 percent during the regular season.
Game 2 was the most unique game of the series. The NBA is more geared towards the three-point shot now, and while James has not shot as well there as the past two postseasons, his 30.9% from deep means he can not be ignored there either.