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Celtics (2-1) at Cavaliers (1-2) Eastern Conference Semifinals Game #4 5/13/24

Celtics (2-1) at Cavaliers (1-2) Eastern Conference Semifinals Game #4 5/13/24

The Celtics look to grab a commanding 3-1 lead as they visit the Cleveland Cavaliers for Game 5 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Celtics opened the Eastern Conference Semifinals with a 120-95 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Boston. The Celtics then came out flat in Game 2 and lost 118-94 as they struggled to score and forgot how to defend and rebound.

The Celtics bounced back in Game 3 to win 106-93 after leading by 9 at the half and starting the 3rd quarter with a 14-0 run. They withstood a couple runs by the Cavs to hold on for the win to put them up 2-1 and take back home court advantage in the series. Teams that lead a best of 7 series 2-1 go on to win the series 79.8% of the time. Teams that lead a series 3-1 go on to win the series 95.4% of the time.

The Celtics need to play with the same sense of urgency that they played with in Game 3 as they played tough defense and put out the effort to win the rebounding battle and did not lose their composure. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown both played very well and Jrue Holiday had his best game of the playoffs. The Celtics need to come into this game with the mindset that it is a must win game. They will then have a chance to close out the series at home on Wednesday and get some rest.

Dean Wade returned in Game 3 after being out since March 8 with a knee injury. He was on a minutes restriction for his first game back. He finished with 5 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in 17 minutes of play and was one of only 2 Cavs with a positive plus/minus. Isaac Okoro has not played well so far. Wade gives them length and range that they desperately need and I’m taking a guess that they will start him in this game and that he will play at least 20 minutes in this game.

The Celtics have been an enigma in the playoffs. After losing just 4 games at home all season, they have already lost 2 games at home in the playoffs. The Celtics are 15-15 in their last 30 home playoff games. They are 17-10 on the road over that same period of time. Historically, after starting 1-1 in a series, the Celtics have gone on to win those series 7 times out of 11. After going 1-1 on the road to start a series, the Cavaliers are 0-2 in series wins.

Kristaps Porzingis remains on the Celtics injury report. He is dealing with a calf injury that he suffered in Game 4 of Boston’s first-round series against the Heat. He has been at the Celtics’ practices, putting up shots. He is also walking normally without a limp,…

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