The Boston Celtics regained their form, rebounding from two straight losses to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers 96-83 in game five of the Eastern Conference finals.
Boston regained the series lead 3-2 by jumping out to a 32-19 advantage after the first quarter. The Celtics rediscovered their tenacity on defense, forcing Cleveland to shoot just 42 per cent from the field on Wednesday.
Rookie Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 24 points, seven rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocks. Al Horford added 15 points and 12 rebounds while re-establishing his presence in the paint.
Jaylen Brown struggled to shoot, hitting just two of eight from three-point range, but the Celtics star finished with 17 points, contributing where and when needed.
LeBron James led the Cavaliers, flirting with a triple-double scoring 26 points with 10 rebounds and five assists, but once again received little help from his supporting cast.
It appeared the Cavaliers had cracked the Celtics' hold on the series by winning games three and four, but Boston were in control from the first whistle Wednesday, proving the team is not ready to fade into the night.
Celtics reserve Marcus Smart scored 13 points on five-of-nine shooting with four assists and four rebounds in 23 minutes. Coming off the bench, Smart provided energy on both ends of the court, stifling the Cavs' offense, while hitting some shots of his own.
HILL, SMITH BATTLE
Cavaliers starting guards George Hill and J.R. Smith were completely outclassed Wednesday. Hill scored just seven points on one-of-five shooting, while Smith added two points on one-of-six shooting. Neither has been able to find their form all series.
CELTICS' IMPRESSIVE DEFENSE
Defense led to offense for the Celtics.
WARRIORS AT ROCKETS
Houston stole game four with a late rally, setting up a chance to fully utilise their home-court advantage. James Harden has been shaky at times throughout the playoffs, but he fought off Golden State's pesky defense to give the Rockets a chance at snapping the Warriors' reign out West. Golden State could be without Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala, both ruled questionable for game five.
|Pumas look to build on Jaguares progress in Rugby Championship|
|Super Cup glory will make Atletico strong - Simeone|
|Rugby Championship 2018: True status of Erasmus´ Springboks rebuild to be discovered|
|LaLiga 2018-19: Coutinho ready to be Barca´s next Brazilian superstar|
|Serie A 2018-19: Can Napoli, Roma, Inter or AC Milan overhaul Juventus?|
|Braves survive skirmish, loss of Acuna to top Marlins|
|Robertson handed surprise start, Hodge gets nod for Bledisloe opener|
|MLS Review: Wayne´s World as Rooney inspires DC United, LAFC win|
|Djokovic and Dimitrov survive but Zverev loses in Cincinnati|
|Rain halts Halep as Muguruza´s defence ends and Wozniacki retires|
|Ozil´s racism claims nonsense, says Kroos|
|Malcom lost for words after Camp Nou bow alongside Messi|
|Injured Fowler withdraws from play-off opening Northern Trust|
|Marcelo happy with Madrid squad amid transfer talk|
|Foles isn´t worried about Brady´s handshake snub|
|Eli Manning on Jalen Ramsey´s comments: ´Who?´|
|Cerezo: Atletico´s objective is to reach Champions League final|
|Judge´s recovery taking longer than expected|
|Ronaldo in the past as Casemiro backs Lopetegui after Madrid loss|
|With our ´cojones´ Atletico can beat anyone – Costa revels in Super Cup glory|
|Super Cup loss doesn´t change Real Madrid transfer policy, says Lopetegui|
|Griezmann: Super Cup triumph justifies staying at Atletico|
|Valverde defends Suarez performances|
|Simeone´s eclipses Aragones as Atletico´s top coach with seventh title|
|Rockets GM: LeBron James is ´the greatest ever´|
|Salihamidzic, Kovac not standing in way of Rudy exit|
|Jaguars DB Ramsey calls Bills QB Allen ´trash´|
|Real Madrid 2 Atletico Madrid 4 (after extra time): Saul stunner seals Super Cup glory|
|Ex-India Test captain Wadekar dies aged 77|
|Gundogan ready to step up in absence of injured De Bruyne|
|Djokovic overcomes illness to see off Mannarino|
|Diego Costa nets fastest UEFA Super Cup goal ever|
|Everton feared missing out on Mina after World Cup strike|
|Barcelona 3 Boca Juniors 0: Messi, Malcom net as Barca win Joan Gamper Trophy|
|All Blacks stick with Barrett as Mo´unga misses out altogether|
|Modric benched for UEFA Super Cup clash with Atletico Madrid|
|Cipriani charged with assault after Jersey nightclub incident|
|Hamburg 1 Bayern Munich 4: Wagner and Muller hit braces in comeback victory|
|WATCH: Messi scores first goal as Barcelona captain|
|Iniesta, Xavi and Puyol were great teachers, says new Barcelona captain Messi|
|Moses retires from international football|
|Goals, assists, set-pieces - The stats that show De Bruyne is almost irreplaceable for City|
|Bergeron wins mammoth 24-man U.S. Amateur play-off|
|Hart to Burnley "not rocket science", says Dyche|
|Leipzig, Schalke reject Rudy transfer rumours|
|Yedlin knee injury not serious, Newcastle confirm|
|Bartomeu satisfied with Barcelona squad amid Pogba links|
|Kevin De Bruyne suffers knee injury|
|Steelers QB Roethlisberger in concussion protocol|
|Kehrer to PSG not complete, say Schalke|
|Hopoate handed 10-year ban from NSWRL|
|Is this worth it? Injuries prompted Te´o to consider future|
|Croatia hero Subasic retires from international football|
|Iniesta makes it two in two for Vissel Kobe|
|Chelsea send out defensive duo on loan|
|Zaha 2023: Palace star means more than goals|
|De Jong set for Ajax stay despite Barcelona interest|
|Serena ´still at the very beginning´ of comeback|
|Ajax can benefit from Mourinho approach - Blind|
|Foley not convinced by reports All Blacks will drop Barrett|
|Zaha signs Crystal Palace extension|
|Burnley midfielder O´Neill makes A-League loan move|
|Godin yet to renew with Atletico Madrid amid transfer interest|
|Federer ´feeling better every day´ after Wimbledon disappointment|
|Kante comfortable with surprise new Chelsea role|
|Rugby Championship 2018: The numbers behind New Zealand´s dominance|
|LaLiga 2018-19: Bale ready to be Madrid´s shining light after five years in Ronaldo´s shadow|
|Rodgers unimpressed by absence of ´fit´ Boyata|
|Braves´ Acuna Jr. has arrived as a true MLB star|
|LA Galaxy 2 Colorado Rapids 2: Jackson´s deflected strike sees spoils shared|