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Eastern Conference Finals: King James Looks to Stave Off Elimination

Eastern Conference Finals

Boston Takes 3-2 Lead in Eastern Conference Finals on Road

The Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers meet in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Friday. ESPN will have the telecast being played at Quicken Loans Arena. Tipoff is for a little bit after 8:30 pm EST.

Oddsmakers opened the Cavaliers as -7-point favorites versus the Celtics, while the game’s total opened at 201.5. The line is now Cleveland -6.5 and the total is 201.

The Stage is Set for Lebron

No player in the NBA is better with his teams’ back is against the wall than Lebron James.

King James has played 21 games with his team facing elimination in the playoffs. James is averaging an NBA-record 33.5 points. He has played in seven of these games with the Cavs dating to the 2015 playoffs.

Lebron is he averaging 36.9 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 9.1 assists in those games. He has scored 40 or more five times. Cleveland has won four of those games. The home team has won every game in this series. So things look a little brighter tonight for the Cavs.

James finished the Game 5 loss with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists. He committed six turnovers and looked tired a few times during the game.

Kevin Love was the only other Cavs player who scored in double figures.

JR Smith is averaging just 5.2 points on 9-of-39 shooting in the series.

Boston Looking for First Finals Trip Since 2010

The Celtics have two chances to go to their first Finals since 2010. That was the last year a non-LeBron team represented the East. Boston knocked out James and the Cavs in six games in the second round that year. James left the Cavs for the Miami Heat after the season.

The Celtics won Game 5 96-83, even though they shot just 36 percent from the floor.

Boston’s defense was smothering, as it has been. The Cavs were forced into 15 turnovers. The Celtics changed their starting lineup and went big. They inserted Aron Baynes for Marcus Morris. They often played both of them with Al Horford.

Boston also won the rebounding battle. They outrebounded the Cavs 45-39. Jayson Tatum scored 24 points for his ninth 20-point game in the playoffs. That ties Donovan Mitchell and David Robinson for second all time among rookies.

Tatum is putting together one of the best scoring playoff runs by a rookie in NBA history. He has scored 312 points and trails only Elgin Baylor (331), Alvan Adams (341) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (352).

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Next up:
Boston home to Cleveland Sunday, May 27

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