We just can't expect coming home and in front of our great fans and crowd that we're going to win the game.
They did. The Celtics came rumbling out to start the game, attacking the basket.
Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers players had to be separated during a brief scuffle in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals. Stevens left the door open yesterday to the guard returning to the floor in this series, though probably not in tonight's Game 5.
Can the Cavaliers get rejuvenated back home?
The narrative was beat to death throughout the Celtics' Game 5 win over the Cavs, but that didn't make it less true: LeBron James looked exhausted. "It's somewhat hard to imagine LeBron going West when the East can be won by a team this young". While there have been times, and obvious moments during these Eastern Conference Finals that his youth and inexperience has shown, the skinny 6-foot-8, 205-pound forward has shown more than just a flash of stardom. Kevin Love had 14 points and seven boards for the Cavaliers, who had evened the series with a 111-102 win in Game 4 Monday.
"I've never went into any season saying, 'OK, let's have a Finals streak, '" James said. "But I think everybody at this point is exhausted or worn down".
James scored 45 that day and the Cavs survived.
"We are one game away from our ultimate goal of making it", Rozier said. "I'm pretty sure a lot of guys are exhausted". "I didn't mention the fatigue, either".
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Game 6 is Friday night in Cleveland.
"We've got to be focused, composed and play with a lot of poise and we'll be fine", he said, clearly up for the challenge. "I would think he gets a little exhausted".
Can the Celtics stay close early on? The Celtics lead the series, 3-2, and can get to the NBA Finals with a win in Cleveland on Friday. "It doesn't get any better than that", he said. 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. Terry Rozier is starting for the first time in the playoffs.
A 9-0 Cavs run reduced the deficit to 12 points, but Cleveland came up empty on their next four attempts. "And on their home floor they're allowed to be more physical than they are on the road, I guess".
"Well, initially [Stevens] has been putting [Semi] Ojeleye in, so that's been Kyle's matchup when he comes in the game, " Lue said.
The Cavs got off to a rocky start, with five first-quarter turnovers almost matching their seven field goals.
Tatum - proud native of St. Louis and prestigious alum of Chaminade Prep - played the lead role in his Boston's 96-83 home court victory in Game 5.
James has cast a spell on this playoff series, which has the Celtics spending much time debating whether it makes sense to stop him or simply resign themselves to him getting his and to try to shut down everyone else.