Is LeBron a hero if heavily favored Cavaliers beat upstart Celtics?

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LeBron's teams have won 57% of theirs.

Beaten for the third time in Boston in these home-sweet-home Eastern Conference finals, Cleveland will face its second elimination game of the postseason on Friday night at Quicken Loans Arena.

James is exhausted - for good reason.

Tatum has been excellent throughout the playoffs for the Celtics, leading the team in scoring at 18 points per game. Cleveland turned the ball over 15 times during the game and shot just 9-for-34 from downtown.

Once again, James, who will play in his 99th game this season Friday, didn't get almost enough help from Cleveland's other starters and Lue didn't do him any favors, either.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have their backs against the wall in the Eastern Conference finals. LeBron has an option to leave the Cavs after this season and is sick of the team relying exclusively on his performances to advance in the playoffs, as he's getting minimal assistance from the rest of the squad.

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The Cavs got off to a rocky start, with five first-quarter turnovers almost matching their seven field goals.

So, yes, the stakes couldn't be higher.

"Well, initially (Celtics coach Brad Stevens) has been putting Semi Ojeleye in, so that's been Kyle's matchup when he comes in the game", Lue said. I know he'll be great tomorrow, and then after that we'll see.

The Celtics have two chances to go to their first Finals since 2010 - the past year a non-LeBron team represented the East.

But if the 4-time MVP can't extend his Finals run to an eighth straight appearance this postseason, any frustration on James' end won't stem from the streak itself.

"I just enjoy playing in the big moments, in the big games", Tatum said. The Celtics lead the series, 3-2, and can get to the NBA Finals with a win in Cleveland on Friday. Both Lue and James acknowledged that was the case.

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Tatum - proud native of St. Louis and prestigious alum of Chaminade Prep - played the lead role in his Boston's 96-83 home court victory in Game 5.

Boston's defense, again, was smothering. The Cavaliers made 15 turnovers compared to eight for the Celtics.

"Aron was great tonight with his energy and physicality", Celtics' All-Star forward Al Horford told reporters. Boston also won the rebounding battle, 45-39. What came as a bit of a shock was the fact that unlike fellow Rookie of the Year finalists Ben Simmons (Philadelphia) and Donovan Mitchell (Utah), he wasn't a unanimous choice.

"You can't live or die with every loss or win", Stevens said. We've still got to play. Boston dug themselves a hole they weren't able to climb out of when they were outscored by 16 points in the opening quarter of Game 4.

"I had my moments but I think everybody is exhausted now", James said.

"The goal for that change was we're going to have to play big some", Brad Stevens told reporters after the game.

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