Cavaliers vs Celtics

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics Game 5: Betting Odds, Start Time, TV Channel For 2018

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The Eastern Conference Finals has gone from a seven-game series to a best-of-three. After both the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers took care of business at home, they’ll meet in a pivotal Game 5 at TD Garden.

With the series tied 2-2, Game 5 starts Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m. EDT in Boston. ESPN will have the TV coverage and a live stream will be available online with WatchESPN.

Cleveland is a one-point favorite, according to the betting line at OddsShark, and the over/under is 206. The Celtics are underdogs to win the series, even though they have home-court advantage.

We are still looking for our first truly close game of the series. Game 4 was decided by nine points and Boston trailed for the final 44 minutes. Cleveland blew a third-quarter lead in Game 2 and ultimately lost by 13 points. Both Game 1 and Game 3 were decided by at least 25 points.

If LeBron James keeps playing the way he has all postseason long, it could be difficult for Boston to cruise to another victory, no matter how well they’ve played at home. After a poor shooting performance in the series opener, James has averaged 37.7 points, 6.7 assists and 9.0 rebounds per game. He’s shooting 59.4 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range in the last three games.

LeBron James Cavaliers Celtics LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers controls the ball against the Boston Celtics during Game 4 of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals on May 21, 2018 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Photo: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

James was terrific in Cleveland’s Game 2 loss, scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter and finishing with a 42-point triple-double. That wasn’t enough for the Cavs to survive just three total points from their starting backcourt and 19 points in 75 minutes from players off the bench.

Game 2 was Kevin Love’s only real effective performance in this series. Aside from that double-double, he’s averaging 13 points on 31.6 percent shooting.

Boston’s defense wasn’t nearly as effective on the road. After allowing 177 points in two home wins, the Celtics surrendered 227 points at Quicken Loans Arena.

Have LeBron’s teammates figured something out or did they just get a boost from returning to Cleveland?

The Celtics are just 1-6 on the road this postseason. They are a perfect 9-0 at home, winning five times by double-digits. Al Horford, Terry Rozier and Jaylen Brown to a lesser extent have performed much better in Boston.

Jayson Tatum is Boston’s leading playoff scorer. He hasn’t scored more than 18 points against Cleveland after putting together six straight games with at least 20 points.

Boston has given up an average of 96.6 points in their last seven home playoff games.

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