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NBA Game Previews for May 23, 2018
May 23, 2018 at 8:30 PM ET

Eastern Conference Finalists Return to Boston for Game 5

By Oscar Heanue

The Boston Celtics will host the Cleveland Cavaliers at TD Garden in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday. The series is currently tied, 2-2. Boston continued its troubling trend of struggling on the road in the playoffs, dropping both games in Cleveland over the weekend. While Game 4's nine-point loss was a far cry from the previous game's 30-point blowout, Boston still did not look like the team that made quick work of Philadelphia in the second round. Coach Brad Stevens admonished his team for its poor early shot selection, which was a contributing factor in itsdismal 18-point first quarter. The team as a whole finished the game shooting just 41 percent from the field and 32 percent from three-point range. Bench guard Marcus Smart, who had been a major piece of the Celtics' two wins in Boston, shot just 2-of-8 while committing five turnovers in limited minutes off the bench. The Celtics will look to turn around their offensive misfortunes as they return to their home floor, where they remain undefeated in this postseason. The Cavaliers, meanwhile, enjoyed yet another big night from superstar LeBron James. James led all scorers with 44 points, his sixth game of 40 or more points in this year's playoffs. His performance was crucial in the Cavs' hot start, as the team scored 34 points in the first quarter. Veteran point guard George Hill made a big contribution for the second straight game, pitching in 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Tristan Thompson also made a splash with 13 points and 12 rebounds. The Cavaliers as a whole shot over 50 percent from the field. They will look to carry that offensive energy into a tough road environment in Boston.

Posted on May 23, 2018 at 12:08 AM ET      Updated on May 23, 2018 at 12:09 AM ET