"I tried to get him to bang his other knee so then we could have 24", Lue said.
Kevin Love needed to have a big game for the Cleveland Cavaliers to stave off elimination in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, but his time on the floor was cut short in a hurry on Friday night.
Tatum stayed in the game.
James has cast a spell on this playoff series, which has the Celtics spending much time debating whether it makes sense to stop him or simply resign themselves to him getting his and to try to shut down everyone else. James averages the most points of any player in league history who has played at least three elimination games, ahead of Michael Jordan at 31.3 and Wilt Chamberlain at 31.1. The impact helped the Celtics (55-27) negate the potential consequences of losing stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward to injuries. In the playoffs, James is scoring 1.07 points per iso possession while the rest of the Cavs manage 0.75 points per play.
So, Lue didnt play his third-best player this series in a pivotal Game 5 because the Celtics didnt play their eighth-best player. LeBron James, 33, not only played them all; he led the National Basketball Association in minutes played in the regular season. In game five he looked gassed and not ready to give the kind of performance they need. His midrange game was clicking. The NBA is more geared towards the three-point shot now, and while James has not shot as well there as the past two postseasons, his 30.9% from deep means he can not be ignored there either. That season, Boston knocked out James and the Cavs in six games in the second round, and James left the Cavs for the Miami Heat. "I can't say enough good things about him".
Hill, who came over in a deadline trade, has been awed by what James has done in this postseason. "I think we're in the business of enhancement". That's the best recovery that you can possibly get, is when you're sleeping.
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"Best player in the game", Celtics coach Brad Stevens said of James.
And so it really means something when James praises Jayson Tatum. He is historically brilliant in Game 7s, but he can't do it alone. Smart took an ill-advised 3-pointer and then looked confused when Morris did the same on the very next possession.
Where Tatum comes from is St. Louis, Chaminade and Duke.
That, likewise, put the green and white Celts one win away from gaining a seat in the NBA Finals.
LeBron James made sure of it.
He's scored 312 ... and counting. Four of the five games have been decided by double digits, and the Celtics barely kept Game 4 within single digits when they lost 111-102. Boston was a poor 11-of-20 at the line. That honor belongs to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who had 352 points for Milwaukee in 1970.