Jayson Tatum happened and I shouldn't have to write another word, but I will.
Behind a monster performance from Tatum, the Celtics beat the Cavs, 96-83, in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals to take a 3-2 series lead. They led for essentially the whole game and held as large as a 17-point lead in the first half, and though the Cavs mounted runs here and there (two separate streaks of nine straight), the C's pulled away in the fourth.
The Celtics are now 10-0 at home, though they'll look to close out the series in Cleveland on Friday.
JAYSON TATUM CONN SMYTHE/ LEBRON ENERGY WATCH
Tatum was downright heroic. It wasn't just the 24 points, seven rebounds or four assists. He was also very aggressive defensively, coming up with four steals and two blocks. Tatum was the best player on the floor.
LeBron James, meanwhile, was tired. This despite scoring 26.
You knew that LeBron was tired because the ESPN broadcast devoted seemingly every spare second to saying LeBron looked tired. So did every reporter at the game. And everyone not at the game. Over and over and over. Doris Burke, who's great, even gave a report on how a Cavs reporter told her that James makes a point to never show that he's tired. That alone was kind of hilarious. It just never ended.
Missed layup and terrible turnover. LeBron actually just looked tired.— Marc D'Amico (@Marc_DAmico) May 24, 2018
Man they are really talking up how tired LeBron is— Ian Glendon (@iglen31) May 24, 2018
(LeBron misses shot & has back-to-back turnovers)— Nick Cattles (@NickCRadio) May 24, 2018
Broadcast team: He's so tired. He can barely walk. Let's go to Doris Burke so she can tell us how tired LeBron is.
(LeBron sprints to the basket for an and one)
Broadcast team: ........................................
Lebrun is sleepy— Janos (@isjanosnba) May 24, 2018
WHAT'D MARCUS MORRIS DO TO GET EVERYONE ALL HOT?
He made a great play to swat away an alley-oop to Larry Nance Jr., knocked the ball out, then stood over Nance's somehow still-alive body and said something. Nance got up and shoved Morris, leading to the two to exchange shoves, with Terry Rozier also jumping in. All three were given technical fouls, with Cleveland ending up at the line.
SO IT WAS HILARIOUS?
In the moment, yes. Then it was the worst. At the time of the altercation, the Celtics were smoking the Cavs, 36-19. Kyle Korver's free throw began a 9-0 run for the Cavs, who cut the lead from 17 to eight with 9:11 still to play in the half.
BEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE OF THE GAME
Right after Nance got called for a charge on a hilarious missed dunk on Aron Baynes early in the fourth, Jaylen Brown missed a layup and buried the rebound to give the Celtics their largest lead of the game at 18. The Cavs answered with a Jordan Clarkson jumper, then Marcus Smart buried a three.
WORST MOMENT OF MY LIFE OF THE GAME
On the possession after the technical free throw from the second-quarter fracas, Korver missed a three. It was this massive sigh of relief that maybe Korver wouldn't have it this game and that the dustup wasn't going to wake up the Cavs. Then Nance got the rebound, dished it to Korver and that old son of a gun hit a three.
HOW MUCH DID THE CAVALIERS MISS KYRIE?
The teams probably missed Kyrie evenly in this one. LeBron and Kevin Love (14 points) were the only players in double digits for the Cavs.
HOW MUCH DID THE CELTICS MISS KYRIE?
It was another so-so night for Terry Rozier, who had eight points, six assists, six rebounds and three steals.
DID KYLE KORVER GO AWAY?
Yeah, he didn't do much damage. Only seven points.
BEST OCCURRENCE OF DANNY AINGE YELLING AT A REF
When Ainge wanted a foul called on the Cavs in the third quarter. He was yelling "wake up!"
MOST BEAUTIFUL THING IN THE WORLD