11:00 p.m.-CLEVELAND CAVALIERS ON BRINK OF ELIMINATION AFTER GAME 5 LOSS TO BOSTON CELTICS
The Cleveland Cavaliers are on the brink of elimination in NBA Playoffs after falling to the Boston Celtics, 96-83, in Game 5 of the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden in Boston Wednesday night.
The lopsided loss was the Cavaliers’ their third consecutive setback at TD Garden in the Eastern Conference Finals, and forced them into a must-win situation in Game 6 of the best-of-seven series at Quicken Loans Arena Friday night.
Despite having a better shooting percentage than the Celtics throughout the contest, turnovers, struggles at the free-throw line and missed three-pointers proved to be the Cavaliers’ downfall in the Game 5 loss in Boston.
The Cavaliers committed 15 turnovers. Also, the Cavaliers made just nine of their 34 attempts from three-point range and went 12 for 19 at the free-throw line. Conversely, the Celtics buried 13 of their 39 triple tries and made 21 of their 23 attempts from the charity stripe.
In addition to the turnovers, missed three-pointers and struggles at the free-throw line, the Cavaliers were outhustled on the glass and were outrebounded, 45-39, by the Celtics.
Three of Boston’s starting five, small forward Jayson Tatum (24 points), power forward Al Horford (15) and shooting guard Jaylen Brown (17), and two key reserves, Marcus Smart and Marcus Morris, each added 13 markers in the winning effort.
Cavaliers small forward LeBron James led all scorers with 26 points on 11-of-22 shooting, but went just one of six from beyond the three-point arc, and his lone make came in the first quarter.
10:30 p.m.-CAVALIERS TRAIL CELTICS BY 16 HEADING INTO FOURTH QUARTER
The Boston Celtics outscored the Cleveland Cavaliers by five points in the third quarter and took a 76-60 advantage into the fourth period of Game 5 of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden in Boston.
While the Cavaliers had a better shooting percentage from the field in the third quarter, the Celtics made two three-pointers while Cleveland missed all six of its attempts from beyond the arc out of the halftime break.
In addition to three-point shooting, the Cavaliers struggled on the boards, getting outrebounded, 12-9, and committed five turnovers, which resulted in seven Celtics points. Conversely, the Cavaliers totaled only two points on Boston’s four third-quarter turnovers.
9:49 p.m.-CAVALIERS TRAIL CELTICS BY 11 AT THE HALF
The Boston Celtics went on a 23-8 scoring run early in the first half and rode that momentum to a 53-42 lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers at halftime of Game 5 of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden in Boston.
While the Cavaliers had a better shooting percentage from the field (41.7 percent to 37.8), the Celtics attempted five more three-pointers and made three more triples than Cleveland over the first 24 minutes of play.
Boston’s extra shots came from the fact that the Cavaliers turned the ball over six times in the first half, five of which came in the first quarter. However, the Cavaliers forced three Boston turnovers in the second quarter and turned those miscues into seven points.
The Cavaliers had more double-figure scorers than the Celtics in the first half, as small forward LeBron James led all players with 16 points on seven-of-11 shooting to go along with four defensive rebounds, three assists and one steal.
In addition to James, the Cavaliers got a 10-point, five-rebound effort from power forward Kevin Love in the first half.
Rookie small forward Jayson Tatum was the only Celtics player in double figures with 12 points, but five of his six teammates who saw action in the first half scored at least six points.
Conversely, no Cavaliers player besides James and Love scored more than six points and the starting backcourt combination of JR Smith and George Hill combined for three points in the first two quarters.
9:26 p.m.-CAVALIERS GO ON 12-4 SCORING RUN
The Cleveland Cavaliers rediscovered their three-point shooting and rode that momentum to a 12-4 scoring run.
The scoring run brought the Cavaliers to within eight points of the Boston Celtics, 39-31, with 6:54 to play in the first half of Game 5 of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden in Boston.
Reserve point guard Jordan Clarkson proved to be the catalyst on the run, as he buried two three-pointers from the right wing after not having much of an offensive presence in the first four games in the best-of-seven series.
In addition to Clarkson, the Cavaliers got a three-pointer from shooting guard Kyle Korver that backup center Larry Nance Jr. facilitated with a pass through traffic.
9:10 p.m.-CELTICS HOLD 32-19 LEAD OVER CAVALIERS AFTER FIRST QUARTER
The Cleveland Cavaliers started fast, but the Boston Celtics went on a monster scoring run and took a 32-19 lead into the second quarter of Game 5 in the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden in Boston.
With a 23-8 scoring run, the Celtics fought their way to a double-digit lead after the first quarter, despite the Cavaliers’ fast start from three-point range.
The Celtics made 10 of their 23 shots from the field, including a six-for-13 showing from three-point range, and the Cavaliers, percentage-wise, were not for off, as they connected on seven of their 17 looks (41.2 percent) and went three of six from beyond the arc.
Turnovers proved to be the biggest difference in the first quarter, as the Celtics forced five miscues and turned them into six points. Cleveland forced just one first-quarter turnover.
8:57 p.m.-CELTICS SURGE AHEAD OF CAVALIERS WITH 10-3 RUN
For as fast as the Cleveland Cavaliers started against the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden in Boston, the home team weathered the storm and had a response.
Courtesy of a 10-3 scoring run, the Celtics surged ahead of the Cavaliers, 19-15, with 3:38 to play in the first quarter.
Power forward Al Horford started the run with a pair of free throws, and on the next trip down the floor, small forward Jayson Tatum buried a three-pointer. Center Aron Baynes kept the rally going and helped further embolden the Boston faithful when he threw down a dunk after catching a pass from Tatum.
Although Cavaliers small forward LeBron James interrupted the run with a three-point play, reserve guard Marcus Smart answered with a three-pointer from the left wing at the 3:41 mark of the first quarter, and his triple forced Cleveland to burn a full timeout.
8:48 p.m.-CAVALIERS JUMP OUT TO THREE-POINT LEAD OVER CELTICS
The three-point ball was very, very good to the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Boston Celtics in the early going of Game 5 of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden in Boston.
The Cavaliers made three of their first four looks from three-point range, which staked them out to a 12-9 lead over the Celtics with 6:49 to play in the first quarter.
Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love led the way with eight points, and he knocked down a pair of three-pointers, including one from 28 feet away on a shot that was set up by a drive-and-kick pass from point guard George Hill, and a second triple with help from small forward LeBron James.
James fired a one-handed pass from the left wing over to Love on the right wing, and despite being several feet beyond the three-point arc, he pulled up in front of Celtics forward Al Horford and knocked down the three-pointer, which put the Cavaliers in front of Boston, 11-9, at the time.
James went one for two from three-point range, as he knocked down a pull-up three-pointer from the right wing at the 9:31 mark of the quarter.
7:45 p.m.-CAVALIERS LOOK TO TAKE LEAD IN EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
After protecting home court at Quicken Loans Arena and evening the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at 2-2, the Cleveland Cavaliers have returned to TD Garden in Boston for Game 5 against the Celtics tonight.
The Cavaliers will look to be the first team to beat the Celtics at TD Garden this postseason, while Boston is fighting to put Cleveland on the brink of elimination with Friday’s Game 6 set for tip-off at Quicken Loans Arena.
Although the Cavaliers lost Games 1 and 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals in convincing fashion, they have won at TD Garden in recent months.
After retooling their roster at the NBA Trade Deadline just three days earlier and with a nationwide audience watching, the Cavaliers defeated the Celtics, 121-99, at TD Garden on February 11, which gave them a 2-1 edge in the regular-season series.
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