"The Stack" 5-22-18

LeBron James put up another sensational effort Monday night, scoring 44 points as the Cavs beat the Celtics 111-102 to even the ECF up 2-2.

The Stack is back on this Tuesday and we don’t have a whole lot to talk about today. Just a little reaction to last night’s playoff action so it’s going to be a short blog today, but let’s get to it and anyway and see what’s in “the stack” for today, Tuesday, May 22nd:

LeBron, Cavs even series with Celtics

The King was at it again Monday night. LeBron James scored 44 points while no other Cav scored more than 14 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics 111-102 to even the series up 2-2. The Celtics put forth a better effort than they did in game three, but don’t let the final score fool you. The Cavs were comfortably ahead pretty much all game. Yes, the Celtics cut the lead down to single digits, but the Cavs were able to put them away. James’ game is absolutely sensational. He was 17-of-28 from the floor. What can’t the King do? He’s going to need to do this again on Wednesday night when the series moves back to Boston. The Celtics are a completely different team at home. They’re undefeated this postseason at home while they are now 1-6 on the road. Given how the Cavs have now taken momentum in this series, game five is a very pivotal game for Boston (it’s really a big game for both teams).

Tonight it’s game four in the Bay Area between the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors. The Warriors lead the series 2-1. Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni says the pressure is on the Warriors to win this game. If the Rockets lose this game, this series is all but over. So, yes a win for the Rockets would give them home court advantage back, but I don’t see that happening. Tip-off is 9 PM ET on TNT.

Capitals force game 7

The Washington Capitals played with a sense of desperation in game six (where was the desperation the past three games) and that desperation led them to a 3-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning to force a winner-take-all game seven Wednesday night in Tampa. The Capitals were certainly the enforcers in this one. They played very physical delivering hit after hit against the Lightning. The Lightning never really responded. They were outhit 39-19. The game, however, was scoreless until five minutes left in the second period when T.J. Oshie scored a power play goal with a quick little slap shot. It was the Caps’ lone power play of the game and their only power play since what, the second period of game four?! They have to find a way to draw more penalties. Braden Holtby was big in net stopping all 24 shots he faced. Devante Smith-Pelley scored midway through the third period to put the Capitals up comfortably and Oshie added an empty-netter to lift the Capitals to the 3-0 win. They need that sense of desperation Wednesday night. Both teams will have it though. Who will play Vegas in the Stanley Cup Final? We’ll find out Wednesday night.

Coming up Wednesday: Rockets-Warriors recap plus other headlines in sports