It wasn't pretty, but the Celtics walked off the TD Garden floor Wednesday night with a 96-83 victory over the Cavs. Boston is now only one win away from its first NBA Finals appearance since 2010.
The Celtics' defense bothered the Cavs all game long, limiting Cleveland to 41.9 percent shooting from the field and 26.5 percent from 3-point range. Jayson Tatum delivered an all-around terrific performance with 24 points, seven rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocks. Four other Celtics (Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Marcus Morris and Marcus Smart) each scored at least 13 points.
Cleveland was far from balanced in Game 5. LeBron James and Kevin Love combined for 40 of the Cavs' 83 points, but the rest of the starting lineup (George Hill, JR Smith and Tristan Thompson) could only muster up 10 total points. And it was even a rough outing by LeBron standards, as James often looked exhausted jogging up and down the court. He must find some energy if the Cavs want to extend this series.
Check out all of the highlights from Game 5 of Cavs vs. Celtics...
Game 5 box score | Play-by-play
Final: Celtics 96, Cavs 83
11:04 p.m. ET - Boston is now one win away from a trip to the NBA Finals. We will see if the Celtics can carry the momentum from this victory to Cleveland for Game 6 on Friday night.
10:54 p.m. ET - Al Horford's 3-pointer from the top of the key gives the Celtics a 17-point advantage with less than four minutes on the clock. That should be the dagger.
"Horford... BANG!" #CUsRise lead 90-73 in the 4th.- NBA (@NBA) May 24, 2018
3:11 to play on @ESPNNBA pic.twitter.com/BEpn51OeNC
10:48 p.m. ET - LeBron James misses a layup at one end, and it kicks off a fast break for the Celtics. Terry Rozier lobs to Al Horford for the easy finish, and just like that, Boston's lead is back at 14. Less than six minutes to go in regulation.
Terry Rozier toss, Al Horford flush! 👏 #CUsRise 85 | #WhateverItTakes 71- NBA (@NBA) May 24, 2018
5:49 remaining on @ESPNNBA pic.twitter.com/q60pbH4xQf
10:40 p.m. ET - It might be good Celtics defense. It might be bad Cavs offense. It might be a little bit of both. But Cleveland is stuck at 67 points with 8:28 left in Game 5, a major surprise from one of the top scoring teams in the NBA.
End of third quarter: Celtics 76, Cavs 60
10:31 p.m. ET - This one is all Celtics. Five different Boston players have score at least 10 points. Jayson Tatum is up to 21 points through three quarters to go with six rebounds, four assists and three steals. The Cavs are actually shooting better from the field than the Celtics, but the 3-point line is the difference. Boston is outscoring Cleveland 33-18 from deep.
Marcus Smart from DOWNTOWN! #CUsRise 70 | #WhateverItTakes 58- NBA (@NBA) May 24, 2018
📺: @ESPNNBA pic.twitter.com/GwK4xJd1vl
10:20 p.m. ET - The Cavs' starting backcourt has been... not great. George Hill and JR Smith are only 2-of-10 from the field combined. Smith also has four fouls. Just not enough production on the road.
10:12 p.m. ET - Jayson Tatum is playing with supreme confidence right now. He's got such an impressive package of offensive moves. The Celtics are looking to throw a knockout punch here in the third.
Rozier steal sets up the Tatum trey! @celtics up 13 in the 3rd on @ESPNNBA #CUsRise 59 | #WhateverItTakes 46 pic.twitter.com/GinCEYGmih- NBA (@NBA) May 24, 2018
10:04 p.m. ET - It turns out Aron Baynes on LeBron James is a bit of a mismatch. What can you do?
LeBron steps back on the deep J! #WhateverItTakes x #CUsRise 2nd half is underway.- NBA (@NBA) May 24, 2018
📺: @ESPNNBA pic.twitter.com/eGYENjR7y7
Halftime: Celtics 53, Cavs 42
9:44 p.m. ET - The Celtics have a nice cushion heading into the locker room after shooting better from 3-point range (40.9 percent) than overall on all field goal attempts (38.6 percent). Jayson Tatum has a team-high 12 points, and Marcus Morris contributed nine points off the bench. LeBron James and Kevin Love (26 points) have been efficient (11-of-19 shooting), but they'll need some help here in the second half.
. @KingJames doing work. #WhateverItTakes pic.twitter.com/gn8m4MssEB- Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) May 24, 2018
9:37 p.m. ET - This guy sure doesn't play like he's only been in the league for a year...
Jayson Tatum pull-up in rhythm! #CUsRise 47 | #WhateverItTakes 37- NBA (@NBA) May 24, 2018
📺: @ESPNNBA pic.twitter.com/vYrErAKcRI
9:26 p.m. ET - Look at the new Cavs making a difference. Larry Nance Jr. has two points, three rebounds, two assists and three blocks. Jordan Clarkson scores six quick points off the bench. Some nice activity to help Cleveland cut down Boston's lead.
Larry Nance Jr. extra pass to Jordan Clarkson! @cavs answer with an 11-3 burst on @ESPNNBA #WhateverItTakes pic.twitter.com/V6MAFO4zZT- NBA (@NBA) May 24, 2018
9:17 p.m. ET - This game just got heated. Larry Nance Jr. took exception to some Marcus Morris trash talk and shoved Morris in the back. Terry Rozier came running in and shoved Nance, and everyone gathered in a corner. The officials are going to the video to sort it all out... and Nance, Morris and Rozier are all assessed technical fouls.
End of first quarter: Celtics 32, Cavs 19
9:08 p.m. ET - Boston grabs a big early advantage fueled by six 3-pointers. We've got the home version of the Celtics so far.
8:57 p.m. ET - A rare Marcus Smart triple leads to a Cavs timeout. Boston leads, 19-15.
8:48 p.m. ET - Kevin Love has the stroke going early - eight points and counting for the big man. At the first TV timeout, the Cavs lead, 12-9.
Kevin Love from LONG range!- NBA (@NBA) May 24, 2018
8 early PTS for K. Love on @ESPNNBA #WhateverItTakes 12 | #CUsRise 9 pic.twitter.com/8NrR3wvXWD
8:45 p.m. ET - How smooth is All-Rookie First teamer Jayson Tatum...
Jayson Tatum with the smooth handle & jumper! #CUsRise #NBARooks- NBA (@NBA) May 24, 2018
📺: @ESPNNBA pic.twitter.com/Opod6tJwKI
8:43 p.m. ET - Kevin Love checks to see if the TD Bank is still open in the Garden... It was.
Kevin Love uses the window to open Game 5 in Boston! #WhateverItTakes x #CUsRise- NBA (@NBA) May 24, 2018
📺: @ESPNNBA pic.twitter.com/vWeUVdmImX
8:41 p.m. ET - Here we go! C's start Horford, Baynes, Tatum, Brown, Rozier. Cavs go with Love, LeBron, Thompson, Hill, J.R. Smith
8:25 p.m. ET - Have to get the ball right ahead of tipoff.
Gotta get the right 🏀 pic.twitter.com/1mST5YlCZ3- NBA (@NBA) May 24, 2018
8:20 p.m. ET - The King is suited up and ready to go. The Celtics have gone to the more casual look. There's your in-depth NBA Canada fashion update ahead of Game 5.
Seeking a 3-2 Eastern Conference Finals lead, the @Cavs arrive for Game 5 (8:30pm/et ESPN)! #WhateverItTakes pic.twitter.com/bYwYFC8xrN- NBA (@NBA) May 23, 2018