LeBron James and the Twilight of the Cavaliers

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"We're looking forward to having an opportunity to force a Game 7", said James, who had 26 points and 10 rebounds but also had six turnovers. The game was there for the taking, but the Cavs couldn't buy a shot when they needed it.

The Boston Celtics, reinvigorated by a return home, beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 96-83 on Wednesday (May 23) to move within one win of reaching the NBA Finals.

Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers players had to be separated during a brief scuffle in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals. It sure has looked at times as though he relishes these moments, though James said otherwise at Cavaliers shootaround Friday.

"At the end of the day, it's incredibly hard to beat a good team in the National Basketball Association one time, and our focus is on what we need to do to give ourselves the best chance at being successful tomorrow night", Celtics coach Brad Stevens said when asked about the emotional roller coaster of what's coming for James in Game 6. "I haven't always been successful, obviously". The Cleveland bench scored 32 points, hitting six of Cleveland's nine threes, but much of that came late in the game when the outcome was essentially decided.

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue altered his rotation to squeeze in extra rest for James at the end of the second quarter, which is unusual. When Tatum has been on the floor the Celtics have outscored postseason opponents by 76 points, which ranks No. 8 among players that have competed in at least 14 playoff games. "I think we're in the business of enhancement. He's a very, very, very good player already and he definitely, at this pace, can become a great player". "But I think everybody at this point is exhausted or worn down".

Notes: Two games ago, the numbers seemed all on the Celtics' side.

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Simply press the thumbs up if you think the player should stay, and the thumbs if you think they should pack their bags. Speaking about his future on Monday, he told the publication: "It's my job to turn that around".

Now, here they are, shooting around in a gym once again - this time with a trip to the NBA Finals on the line. Led by LeBron James' 21 first-quarter points, Cleveland jumped out to an early lead and led by as many as 11 points.

This beleaguered Celtics team, hammered by injuries to its best players, has pushed LeBron James to the brink.

"His composure", James told Celtics.com Wednesday morning ahead of Game 5 while discussing what stands out about Tatum. James had 16 points, four rebounds and three assists at the half. "I know that The Q is going to be as loud as it was here, and hopefully, we can push it back to a Game 7".

We also addressed this, and a few times: He played 36.9 minutes per game in all 82 contests with his most total minutes (3,026) since 2010-11. "I know what's at stake the next game".

James isn't going to go away quietly. They've been worse in the Boston series in which they are managing just 97.4 points on 44.6 percent shooting.

"His talent, his composure, where he comes from, has allowed him to be successful", said James, whose Cavs are locked in a 2-2 series with the C's.