Chants of ‘Celtics in Six’ rent the air at a charged TD Garden after the Boston Celtics put forward a stunning defensive performance to down Cleveland Cavaliers 96-83 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Star rookie Jayson Tatum led the way for the Celtics with a team-high 24 points as they recorded a 10th straight victory in Boston to remain perfect at home this postseason and move within one win of their first trip to the NBA Finals since 2010.
“I just enjoy playing in the big moments, in the big games. That’s when I have the most fun,” said Tatum, who needs one more 20-point game to tie Kareem Abdul- Jabbar’s rookie record of 10 in a postseason.
“I can’t say it enough: We’re one win away from being in the finals,” Tatum said. “The playoffs bring the best out of people.”
Key for the Celtics was limiting the impact of what looked to be a fatigued LeBron James to two fourth-quarter points.
But the King has warned of forcing Game 7 in an already gruelling final.
“We’re looking forward to having an opportunity to force a Game 7,” said James, who had 26 points and 10 rebounds but also had six turnovers.
“It’s up to us to see if we can come back here for one more.”
James has played to the end in seven straight seasons, and to extend that streak, he’ll need to win two in a row…and one of them will be in Boston!
Game 6 tips off in Cleveland on Saturday.