Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Rookie Jayson Tatum led the way with 24 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals as the Boston Celtics take the huge Game 5 win, 96-83, over the Cleveland Cavaliers for a 3-2 best-of-seven series lead in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals in Boston, Wednesday night.
Al Horford had 15 points and 12 rebounds for Boston.Jaylen Brown scored 17 points, and Marcus Morris and Marcus Smart each scored 13 points as reserves.
The Celtics opened a double-digit lead in the first quarter and recovered from a four-minute scoring drought that saw Cleveland score nine straight points to cut the deficit to 83-71. But Terry Rozier hit Horford with an alley-oop to snap the skid, and that was as close as the Cavs would get.
Boston went on a 15-3 run in the first quarter to turn a three-point deficit into a nine-point lead. 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 Celtics remained perfect in Boston this postseason with their 10th straight victory at home and moved within one win of their first trip to the NBA Finals since 2010.
LeBron James had 26 points and 10 rebounds and Kevin Love scored 14 for the Cavaliers, who are trying to reach the finals for the fourth consecutive season. James has played to the end in seven straight seasons.
The Celtics remain perfect in Boston this postseason with their 10th straight victory at home and moved within one win of their first trip to the NBA Finals since 2010.
Game 6 is in Cleveland on Friday night, with the decisive seventh game back in Boston on Sunday if necessary. The home team has won every game so far in the series, and none has been closer than nine points.