BOSTON -- For perhaps the first time this postseason and certainly during the Eastern Conference finals, LeBron James showed some signs of fatigue Wednesday night as the Boston Celtics took a 3-2 series lead with a 96-83 Game 5 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
James' numbers were strong -- he scored 26 points with 10 rebounds and five assists on 11-of-22 shooting -- but his energy seemed to lag at times, and it might have contributed to his six turnovers.
"I had my moments," James said when asked if he was tired. "I think everybody at this point is tired or worn down."
James later dismissed the issue.
"I'm fine," he said. "I didn't mention fatigue, [the media] did."
Cavs coach Tyronn Lue altered his rotation to squeeze in extra rest for James at the end of the second quarter, which is unusual. Then Lue intended to have James start the fourth quarter after giving him some rest at the end of the third. But James wasn't ready to return to the game, and that left him and Kevin Love on the bench at the same time, which Lue wasn't expecting.
"He looked a little tired to me," Lue said. "[I have] no concerns. You've got to be ready to play now."
James has played more minutes than any other player this postseason at 648. Wednesday's outing was his 98th game of the season, two shy of his career high of playing 100 games in the 2010-11 season, which included six games in the NBA Finals.
After a three-day break between Games 2 and 3, the East finals are now being played every other day, which seems to have affected other players. Game 5 was the most poorly played game of the series by both teams to this point.
James also has said he struggles to sleep in the postseason, especially after losses.
Marcus Morris, who has been a primary defender on James this series, said the Celtics saw that James was getting tired.
"We throw a lot of different bodies at him," Morris said. "And he does a lot for his team -- scores, assists, rebounds. I would think he gets a little tired."
The Cavs' loss can't be blamed on possible fatigue for James. He outscored the rest of Cleveland's starting lineup combined for the fifth time in the playoffs. The Cavs also were just 5-of-17 shooting off James' passes, the lowest percentage for Cleveland in the past three postseasons.
"[I was] still trying to make plays to help our team win," James said. "We had an opportunity, but we didn't make enough plays."
ESPN's Chris Forsberg contributed to this report.