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LeBron James: 'I Had My Moments' of Feeling Tired in Game 5 vs. Celtics

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2018

BOSTON, MA - MAY 23:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts in the second half against the Boston Celtics during Game Five of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

LeBron James is one loss away from failing to make his eighth straight NBA Finals after Wednesday’s 96-83 defeat to the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, and he admitted he felt tired at times during the contest.

"I had my moments," he said when discussing whether he was tired, per NBA TV. "But I think everybody at this point is tired."

James still notched a double-double of 26 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, but there were times in the game when he looked exhausted:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

LeBron looked tired in Game 5 https://t.co/LHI5GWJLkL

The four-time MVP was probably tired because he was carrying a team in comeback mode throughout the evening after Boston built a double-digit lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Kevin Love (14 points) was the only other Cavaliers player to score in double figures, as the supporting cast that was so formidable in the two wins in Cleveland went missing in action Wednesday.

That put the onus on James to force the issue against a Boston team that led the league in defensive rating during the regular season, per NBA.com.

Not even James is going to beat that defense by himself, and it showed, as the Celtics took a 3-2 lead in the series and improved their home record to a perfect 10-0 in the postseason despite playing without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.

The good news for Cleveland is Friday's Game 6 is back in Quicken Loans Arena, where the Cavs handled Boston with relative ease in the last two contests. The Celtics are an ugly 1-6 away from TD Garden in these playoffs, and a win in Cleveland would put the Cavaliers in a position where they have the best player on the floor for a decisive Game 7.

That is a formula for success, even if James did appear fatigued during Wednesday's contest.

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