Starting Aron Baynes proves to be ‘right decision’ for Boston Celtics

What gives? Well, it's fair to reason that the Cavaliers knew they might need seven games to do this.

With 10:47 left in the second quarter and the Celtics up 17 points, Boston forward Marcus Morris and Cleveland's Larry Nance tangled, with Nance sent sprawling to the floor.

Compare that to home: 113.5 points, 49.7 percent shooting and 43.9 percent from deep. "It doesn't get any better than that", he said. "So I've just got to fight through it [and] keep my composure".

The defensive intensity hasn't traveled. Not having another consistent creator to settle things down when James needs a few possessions to collect his breath hasn't helped.

LeBron James is not here for "fatigue" talk.

But before he picks home or Philadelphia or Los Angeles or anywhere else, he's got at least one more game in Cleveland. Smith has 20 points in two home games and six points in three games in Boston.

"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.

Maybe it's the matching team-unity suits. Speaking after the Cavs' 96-83 loss in Game 5 on Wednesday night, James insisted that his remarkable postseason record has merely been a byproduct of his other accomplishments for the better part of the past decade. They knew the game would be the biggest inside TD Garden since Game 6 of the same round in 2012 - and that James had essentially maimed the Big Three that night. James turned the ball over six times and couldn't finish easily at the rim like he has at other times this postseason.

Love has suffered through his own road shooting woes. And 37-year-old Kyle Korver can only do so much. "I'm pretty sure a lot of guys are exhausted during this stretch of the year". "We've played really bad here in Boston, and they probably feel the same way on how they played in Cleveland". These games are coming up pretty quick.

Tatum's teammate, Jaylen Brown, can't quite believe what he's able to do on the court, as he said: "It's not even something new at this point". "But when we're playing fast, playing with pace and taking care of the basketball, those guys benefit. It was stationary a little bit". J.R. Smith, George Hill and Tristan Thompson had nearly no impact on the offensive end, missing 12 of 14 shots with four assists and one offensive rebound.

This is Cleveland's reality and it's been the same from the start: Winning this series requires going on the road and stealing one.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers looked to have all of the momentum after levelling the series with two wins at home, but they could never gain the ascendancy in Game 5 after the Celtics jumped out to an early double-digit lead.

They had moved to 9-0 at home during these playoffs and taken 2-0 series lead, which has been a magic number for a franchise yet to surrender such an advantage during its storied history (37-0). Turns out, the Cavs are too.

  • Stacy Allen