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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

One win away from LeBron bouncing out of Cleveland

I can't tell you how refreshing it is to see that even in the NBA-the ultimate individual pro sport-a well balanced team will usually beat a squad dominated by one player.

At this point LeBron James is the most talented player in the NBA but who wouldn't rather have Kobe Bryant? I hate him but I have to admit that I fear Kobe more than any other player. He's a winner and he always seems to step up in the clutch moments.

Right now, LeBron is a highlight machine in the regular season but he's quickly becoming A-Rod (pre 2009 playoffs) when it counts.

In the pivotal Game 5 last night at Quicken Loans Arena, Boston came in and ran the show from start to finish to the tune of a 120-88 win.

The Celts can end it tomorrow night back in Boston; if not, they'll be back in Cleveland on Sunday.

LeBron had 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds but that's misleading since he was 3 of 14 from the floor. His first field goal was 30 minutes into the game on a breakaway dunk. It was one of the biggest no-show performances I can remember in recent sports history.

And who has been more exposed in this series than the Cavs' supporting cast? Antawn Jamison and Mo Williams were both nowhere to be found as they each had nine points. Shaq (21 points) and Anthony Parker (14 points) were the only players that showed up for Cleveland which is all you need to know.

In its best effort of the season, Boston's starting five all scored in double figures (despite a scoreless first half by Rajon Rondo) and Glen Davis was relentless with 15 points off the bench.

Ray Allen led Boston with a game-high 25 points including six 3-pointers. Paul Pierce finally had a good game (21 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists), Rondo had 16 points and seven assists while Kendrick Perkins added 10 points and seven boards.

It was a tight first quarter with the Cavs coming out of it up 23-20 but after that the Celtics took over. A 16-0 run in the second quarter led to a 50-44 halftime lead.

Allen hit consecutive 3-pointers out of the break and the rout was on from there. Boston outscored Cleveland 30-19 in the third and 40-25 in the fourth. They were up by as many as 32 in what turned out to be the worst home playoff loss in Cavalier history.

It was hard to pick a favorite moment since there were so many choices: LeBron continually taking jumpers even though he couldn't buy a shot, the despondent Cavs fans, Mike Brown looking like a guy on Death Row or those same fans leaving like the place was on fire.

After the game KG kept stressing that they can't return to Cleveland and I agree that they need to get it done at home. No stinkers like Game 3, it's time to send LeBron and his team of bozos home for the summer.

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