It hasn't been just the playoffs that have been a grind on the center of the Cavaliers' universe.
LeBron James put on another memorable performance.
The Cleveland Cavaliers didn't have it on Wednesday night as they dropped Game 5 to the Boston Celtics 96-83. James finished with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists but committed six turnovers and looked exhausted at times.
Down three games to two, with a must-win Game 6 set for 8:30 p.m.
James himself is seeking an eighth straight trip to the title series, although he said that streak wouldn't be on his mind come Friday.
"Fatigue won't be a problem", the Cavaliers' coach said May 24 during a conference call. "And I think that the deal is you can't ride the emotional roller coaster". LeBron just physically can't do everything for this group and Love needs to be the guy that Cleveland thought they were getting when they signed him. "I know what's at stake the next game".
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"It (Game 5) could have been one of those nights for LeBron".
"[Brad Stevens has] been putting [Semi] Ojeleye in, so that's been kind of Kyle's matchup when he comes in the game", Lue said. ESPN is included in the Hulu Live TV package so you'll be able to quickly join in time to watch the Cavs Celtics Game 6 battle online.
"I felt like it was great for us defensively", Al Horford said of Boston's return to its roots. "We have to control what we can control, and that's play as well as we can".
LeBron James didn't have his best stuff in Game 5.
Boston won the rebounding battle 45-39.
From the Rockets to the Lakers to the Sixers, James has been linked to a plethora of future landing spots despite publicly stating his sole focus is on winning another championship with the Cavs. Numerous turnovers were sloppy, careless passes. The three-time champion played the first 35 minutes without a break and then endured the final eight while nursing a sore lower leg. He is 3-2 against the Celtics in his career in that situation, but 3-0 since struggling early in his career to get over the hump against the Big Three.
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Even though he is a member of the Celtics, Kobe surely recognizes and appreciates Tatum's outstanding feel for the game and advanced offensive repertoire.
James handles the ball more than anyone, so he has more chance to make mistakes. They are without their two centerpiece players, Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. The Cleveland Cavaliers are shooting 34.5 percent from beyond the arc and 75.8 percent from the free throw line.
But things were different Friday night in Game 6 at Quicken Loans Arena.
- The Celtics are 23-8all-time in Game 7s and 20-4 at home.
Expand that search back to age 32 seasons and Jordan's age 32 shows up with James' 2017 playoff run to add to the list.
"I can't say that on camera".
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