LeBron James does more of the same as the Cleveland Cavaliers live another day with a big homecourt win against the Boston Celtics. He finished with 46 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, that included two wonderful dagger 3-pointers in the final minutes.
When told about Tatum being left off one of the first-team ballots, Boston head coach Brad Stevens couldn't understand it and believed there could only be one explanation.
"I have a drive", James said.
When the topic was broached a second time, with a reporter asking if he was "under the weather", James showed little interest in addressing the subject again.
"The blind faith, and I say that complimentary, the blind faith they have in him is incredible", he said.
Though a reporter asked how he felt, James did volunteer that he was exhausted.
Game 6 is in Cleveland on Friday night, with the decisive seventh game back in Boston on Sunday if necessary. "I know he'll be great come tomorrow". The home team has won every game in this series.
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Looking at the betting trends, the Celtics are 5-1 ATS in their last six games against a team above.600, 1-4 ATS in their last five road games and 35-16 ATS in their last 51 games overall.
The Celtics made a late push, but James snuffed it out with massive back-to- back three-pointers in the final two minutes.
James closed his night with seven consecutive points.
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. "We've just played really bad in Boston, and they probably feel the same way with how they played in Cleveland". All game long, the Cavaliers toggled between the suburbs and exurbs of contention, before moving decisively to distant rural reaches in the last six minutes.
- Finally, if Tatum scores 41 more points, he'll set the new record for most postseason points by a rookie. Luckily, they finished the first half with a large cushion, leading the game, 54-43.
Tatum, however, missed out on joining Philadelphia 76ers point guard Simmons and Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell in receiving a unanimous selection as one voter chose not to include him on his first-team ballot.