Celtics

Short stay in Maine for Yabusele

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Short stay in Maine for Yabusele

BOSTON – He’s back!
 
The Celtics have recalled Guerschon Yabusele from the Maine Red Claws of the Gatorade League.

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In his lone game with the Red Claws, Yabusele had a game-high 27 points along with six rebounds against the Westchester Knicks on Wednesday, a game in which the Knicks had former NBA All-Star Joakim Noah (nine points, five rebounds, four assists) in the lineup.
 
The 6-foot-8 forward has seen limited time with the Celtics this season, appearing in seven games while averaging 2.0 points and 1.6 rebounds in 4.6 minutes of action.
 

Celtics earn Game 5 win over Cavaliers, 96-83

Celtics earn Game 5 win over Cavaliers, 96-83

BOSTON – Throughout the TD Garden, you could find seat after seat adorned with t-shirts that read, “Protect the Parquet.”

It has become more than just a catchy slogan to slap on a t-shirt. 

It is the mindset that these Boston Celtics bring to the floor for every home game – at least in the playoffs where they have won 10 in a row.

That postseason grit at home produced yet another gem of a performance as Boston defeated Cleveland 96-83 to take a 3-2 series lead in their best-of-seven series with Boston now one win away from a trip to the NBA Finals.

Jayson Tatum delivered a strong game for the Celtics, tallying a team-high 24 points to go along with seven rebounds and four assists. Jaylen Brown (17 points) had a nice game, as did Al Horford who tallied a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds. 

For the Cavs, it was James once again leading the way with a double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds to go with five assists. The only other double-digit scorer for Cleveland was Kevin Love who had 14 points and seven rebounds. 

Boston would lead by as many as 21 points in the fourth quarter, but Cleveland responded with a 9-0 run capped off by ex-Celtic Jeff Green draining a 3-pointer to make it an 83-71 game with 7:49 to play.

Brad Stevens, having seen enough, called a time-out. 

Both teams struggled to get shots to go down, but a 3-pointer by Al Horford gave Boston a 17-point lead that would prove to be the final straw. 

Boston opened the game with a 7-2 run, only for the Cavs to counter with a 10-2 run to lead 12-9 with 6:49to play in the first.

The Celtics soon regained the lead and continued to surge ahead, giving the usually raucous TD Garden plenty to cheer about as they led 32-19 after the first quarter which was their largest lead in the series after the first 12 minutes of play.

But the game took a dramatic turn early in the second quarter when Marcus Morris and Cleveland’s Larry Nance Jr. got into a brief pushing match. 

Officials reviewed the incident with 10:46 to play in the second quarter and wound up calling double technical fouls on Morris and Nance Jr., in addition to a third technical foul against Terry Rozier for his role in the incident. 

That seemed to be just what the Cavs needed to get going. 

Kyle Korver made the technical free throw, which began the jumping-off point for Cleveland’s 12-3 run which cut Boston’s lead back to single digits, 39-31. 

The two played to a virtual standstill the rest of the second quarter which ended with Boston ahead 53-42 at the half. 

Boston was indeed a better-playing team in just about every phase of the game, effectively making the Cavs a two-man scoring team –James and Love – for most of the half. 

The James-Love tandem had 26 of Cleveland’s 42 first-half points, connecting on 11-of-19 shots. 

Cleveland’s supporting cast was a combined 4-for-18 shooting with 16 points.

The third quarter was just another installment of the Jayson Tatum show, as the 20-year-old continued to dazzle with strong play at both ends of the floor whether it was forcing a Cavs missed shot and getting out in transition for a lay-up or pulling up for a shot-clock beating jumper. 

The youngest man on the floor was for long stretches, the best player while displaying a dominant end-to-end-game that had the Celtics ahead 76-60 going into the fourth quarter.

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Must-read recap: Jayson Tatum is heroic, LeBron James is tired and the Celtics are a win away

Must-read recap: Jayson Tatum is heroic, LeBron James is tired and the Celtics are a win away

WHAT HAPPENED? 

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. 

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 3. 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 3. 

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

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