He entered TD Garden at 10:54 p.m. Wednesday. His visage hovered in the ether above the Boston Celtics as they left the floor.

LeBron James won’t be here in his fully physical form until Sunday, but what mattered is that the Celtics kept their Eastern Conference finals date with the King.

Wouldn’t want to stand the Colossus of Cleveland up.

And considering how much trouble the Celtics had in finishing Philadelphia in Game 5, they have the Cavaliers right where they want them. Likely overconfident. No doubt the Cavs will be the favorite here, as were the 76ers in Boston’s second-round soiree.

It will be the third time the Celtics have faced Cleveland in the last four postseasons, and so far they are 1-8.

Like last year they will have homecourt advantage. And like last year, they will be trying for an upset because, you know, LeBron.

“It feels good,” said Marcus Smart after Tasmanian Devil-ing his way for 14 points and a plus-10 in the 114-112 clincher against the 76ers. “He’s been doing this for a long time. He’s, if not the greatest, one of the greatest to do it. And what better way than to go up and compete against a guy of his stature?”

Said Terry Rozier, “You’ve got to hope he misses. A guy like him, you’ve just got to make it tough for him, show bodies and, you know, be active. We’ve got to bring the fight to them before they bring it to us.”

Rozier, still ably filling Kyrie Irving’s shoes, thinks things are different this time, and not just because the Celts have only four players left from last year’s roster.

“I think we’re more together,” Rozier said. “Obviously guys have been going down all year. It’s like you never know who’s going to go down, but we find a way to pull together.”

On Wednesday night the Celtics watched a 12-point lead evaporate into a four-point deficit, and of their young people, only the youngest – Jayson Tatum – hadn’t gotten flustered. Jaylen Brown bricked two free throws, and Rozier failed on an open layup, perhaps expecting contact that never came.

But with the score 94-94 and the clock dribbling under six minutes, the Celts leaned on Al Horford and he delivered. Coach Brad Stevens got him the ball inside on an after-timeout play and the most experienced Celtic scored on a reverse. Soon after, Horford bagged a 15-foot fallaway.

His steal on the ensuing Philly possession led to a Rozier fast-break basket, a 10-0 run and a six-point lead.

Now the Celts will have to do it against LeBron James.

“It’s great,” said Aaron Baynes. “It shows that we definitely believe in the next man up. We’ve proven that. But everyone’s still hungry. No one’s satisfied, that’s for sure.”

It’s a surprising spot when you consider they’re playing without Irving and Gordon Hayward (and Daniel Theis and now Shane Larkin). But the lure of this stage is strong.

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