Rookie Jayson Tatum scored 24 points and grabbed seven rebounds as the Boston Celtics defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 96-83 on Wednesday night to take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference finals. Jaylen Brown added 17 points, Al Horford had 15 points and 12 boards and both Marcus Morris and Marcus Smart scored 13 for Boston. The Celtics have earned all three of their wins this series at home, where they are 10-0 in the playoffs.
LeBron James finished with 26 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for Cleveland, though he committed six turnovers. Kevin Love had 14 points and seven boards for the Cavaliers, who had evened the series with a 111-102 win in Game 4 on Monday. James and Love were the only two Cleveland players to score in double figures.
“Defensively, holding this (Boston) team to 36 percent (shooting) from the field was a good job,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “We had a lot of mistakes that we could have cleaned up, but overall, they scored 96 points and shoot 36 percent. We’ve got to be able to score the basketball.” Game 5 winners in best-of-seven playoff series that were tied 2-2 have won the series 83.1 percent of the time (167-34).
Game 6 is Friday night in Cleveland. Game 7, if necessary, would be Sunday in Boston.