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Fast Break: Celtics – Cavs

Final Score: Celtics [1] 120, Cavaliers [2] 88

The Celtics limited LeBron James [3] to just three field goals as they handed the Cavaliers their worst home loss in playoff history, 120-88, in Game 5 Tuesday night in Cleveland. James shot 3-for-14 from the floor and scored nine of his 15 points at the free throw line. The Cavs were minus-22 with James on the court.

Rajon Rondo [4] got off to a slow start and was scoreless in the first half. But he proved the Cavs still don’€™t have an answer to stop him — he scored 16 points in the last two quarters. Paul Pierce [5] broke out of his offensive slump with 21 points (9-for-21 from the field) and recorded a double-double with 11 rebounds. Ray Allen [6] led all players with 25 points after a 6-for-9 performance from behind the arc. Kevin Garnett [7] scored 18 points while Glen Davis [8] added 15 off the bench.

With the commanding win, the Celtics took a 3-2 lead as the series heads back to Boston for Game 6 on Thursday.

First Quarter: Cavaliers 23, Celtics 20

After his remarkable Game 4 performance, Rajon Rondo was scoreless through the first quarter. The point guard shot 0-for-1 from the field with one rebound, two turnovers, and no assists in 11 minutes. But this was not because of a change in defense. The Cavaliers started Anthony Parker [9], not LeBron James, on Rondo. Just as notably, James was also scoreless (0-for-2 from the field) through 12 minutes. So who was scoring? Instead of Rondo and James, Pierce had six points, tied for a team-high with Kevin Garnett. Foul trouble began early once again for the Celtics as Kendrick Perkins [10] picked up two personal fouls halfway through the first quarter.

Halftime: Celtics 50, Cavaliers 44

The Celtics bounced back from a 3-point first quarter deficit to outscore the Cavaliers, 30-21, in the second. The biggest question entering Game 4 was, who would shut down Rondo? (And as always, containing James was a concern.) But the biggest story of the half was the lack of scoring by both. Neither player made a field goal ‘€” Rondo was scoreless while all of James eight points came at the line (0-for-4 from the field). Pierce, who has struggled offensively the entire series, led all players with 14 points. Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett were right behind with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Mo Williams [11] and Shaquille O’€™Neal scored seven points apiece for the Cavs. But the Celtics were not in the clear. Their unit of bigs were been hampered by foul trouble — Rasheed Wallace [12] had four personals while Perkins and Glen Davis were both called for three.

Third Quarter: Celtics 80, Cavaliers 63

Rondo exploded for 12 points in the third quarter to give the Celtics a 17-point lead heading into the fourth. The C’€™s came out halftime on a 6-0 run led by a pair of Ray Allen 3-pointers, and continued on a 23-8 stretch. James scored his first field goal of the game off of a fast break dunk. But he continued to struggle, shooting 2-for-11 from the floor (12 points overall). Allen led all players with 22 points (including 5-for-8 on threes) and Garnett and Pierce were tied with 16 points. Shaquille O’€™Neal was the Cavs’€™ leading scorer with 13 points. The Celtics outshot the Cavaliers, 49.2 percent to 39.6 percent through three.

Fourth Quarter: Celtics 120, Cavaliers 88

Glen Davis scored 8 points in a span of 1:11 as the Celtics built their lead up to 14 points with a 10-3 run. James scored just three points in the quarter before Mike Brown [13] sat the starter. Emotions still ran high, though, even with the game out of reach for the Cavs. Rondo and Mo Williams were called for double-technical fouls with a 23-point differential. Both coaches cleared their benches and Marquis Daniels [14] and Shelden Williams [15] scored the final six points for the C’€™s.