Fri, May 25, 11:57am by Staff Writer
Boston are on the brink of reaching the 2017-18 NBA Finals after a 96-83 win in game five of the Eastern Conference finals.
The Celtics are now $1.50 to win the East at Sportsbet, with the Cavs $2.60.
The home team in each of the five games in this series has controlled each contest, with Boston leading from mid-way through the first quarter and never looking back.
It was once again a balanced scoring effort form the Celtics, with 24 points from Jayson Tatum who played a team high 41 minutes.
Marcus Morris and Marcus Smart each contributed 13 points as the Celtics connected on 13 of their 39 three-point attempts.
It was tough going for the Cavs, who outside of Kevin Love and LeBron James, managed only 10 points from their starters.
Their bench did not fair much better, with Kyle Korver and Jeff Green well contained.
The Cavs shot a woeful 42 per cent from the field and missed seven free throws. They never truly threatened to come back during the game, as they trailed by double digits for the majority of the contest.
Boston is now 10-0 in the playoffs at the TD Garden this season, but will not be holding back in Cleveland where a win will see them return to the NBA Finals.
The Celtics to win in seven games is the shortest price in the series correct score market paying $2.38, with a Cleveland 4-3 win paying $2.60. A Celtics 4-2 win is paying $3.44.
Game six of this series takes place in Cleveland on Saturday, with the Celtics $3.44 underdogs and the Cavs heavy home favourites at $1.33.
Cleveland is favoured by seven points in the handicap market at $1.95, with LeBron James sure to be explosive in what may be his final game in Cleveland as he is a free agent once again this off-season.
Boston did not win a road game in their series with Milwaukee and managed only one road win against the 76ers, so it won’t be easy for Boston to end their series on Saturday.
They will certainly want to given LeBron James’ excellent record in must-win elimination games, but the Cavs will need a tremendous lift once again from their role players to be competitive in the remainder of this series.
Game five of the Western Conference finals takes place on Friday, with the Rockets narrow $1.88 favourites against Golden State who are $1.96.
The Rockets reclaimed home court advantage on Wednesday and will be looking for consecutive wins in this series.
The NBA Championship market remains dominated by Golden State who are $1.72, with the Rockets $2.90.
The Celtics are now $9.50 after their game five win, with the Cavs drifting to $14.
Sportsbet NBA Markets
Boston $1.50 Cleveland $2.60
Boston $3.44 Cleveland $1.33
Correct Series Score
Cleveland 4-3 $2.60
Boston 4-2 $3.44
Boston 4-3 $2.38
Western Conference Game 5
Golden State $1.96 Houston $1.88
Golden State $1.72
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