LeBron James carried the Cavs to the victory with 46 points on 17-of-33 shooting from the field. He also grabbed 11 rebounds and handed out nine assists in the dominating performance. James made back-to-back step-back three-pointers to close out the game when Boston had made a run in the fourth quarter.
Despite James’ incredible night, the Celtics kept it close into the fourth quarter. Boston ultimately couldn’t get past 14 turnovers, nine missed free throws and 15 offensive rebounds for the Cavaliers. The sloppy play offset 51.4 percent shooting by Boston, and at this point in the season, it is simply unacceptable.
Terry Rozier and Jaylen Brown led the Celtics in scoring with 28 and 27 points respectively. Jayson Tatum added 15 points after a very slow start and Marcus Morris and Marcus Smart scored 10 apiece off the Boston bench.
Al Horford struggled all game with just six points on 2-of-8 shooting. Making Horford’s struggles even more disappointing was the fact that the Cavaliers played shorthanded up front all game after losing Kevin Love five minutes into the game. Love collided with Tatum and was evaluated for a concussion and was ruled out at halftime.
With Love out, several role players stepped up for Cleveland. George Hill scored 20 points on 7-of-12 from the field. And reserve bigs Jeff Green and Larry Nance added 14 and 10 points off the bench respectively.
The Celtics fought all season for homecourt advantage and will have it on Sunday. They’ve been 10-0 at home to this point in the playoffs. They’ll need number 11, as every player on the roster plays in the biggest game of their career to date.