The Boston Celtics defeated the Miami Heat 110-97 on Thursday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals to extend the series. Derrick White led the Celtics with 24 points, including six 3-point field goals, and the Celtics extended the series.
Marcus Smart led the team in scoring with 23 points and also had five steals. The Celtics have won two in a row, cutting Miami’s lead in the series to 3-2. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown each ended with 21 points to lead the scoring for their respective teams.
Because of this, Boston’s prospects of being the first club in NBA history to come back from being down 3-0 in a series and win it remain intact. The last teams in that position have a combined record of 0-150.
Saturday marks the beginning of Game 6 in Miami.
A day after the Florida Panthers punched the franchise’s first ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals since 1996, the Heat were denied a position in the NBA Finals for the second game in a row. This came after the Florida Panthers punched the franchise’s first trip to the Stanley Cup Finals since 1996.
The Heat were led in scoring by Duncan Robinson with 18 points. Bam Adebayo contributed 16 points and eight rebounds to the team’s total. Jimmy Butler finished the game with 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists, but he did not play in the last 9 minutes and 47 seconds. At the end of the game, Caleb Martin had 14 points.
This was the postseason game in which Butler scored the fewest points. In Game 3, which Miami won decisively, he scored 16 points for the Heat.
The Hurricanes never took the lead and committed 16 turnovers.
As the day began, Boston’s record at TD Garden in these postseasons was at only 4-5. However, with their rowdy home crowd supporting them, the Celtics thrived on the energy they provided.
They built a lead of as many as 20 points in the first half by diving for loose balls, outfighting Miami for rebounds, and finding each other in transition for layups and dunks.
The Heat was able to cut into it, but Boston continued to knock down threes and increased its lead up to 96-72 in the fourth quarter.
The Boston crowd started chanting “Beat the Heat!” again, which they hadn’t done much of since the series’ first game.
The Heat decided to start Kyle Lowry at point guard after it was determined earlier in the day that Gabe Vincent would not play due to a sprained left ankle. Since February 2nd, this was Lowry’s first start since then.
Vincent, the third-leading scorer for the Heat this postseason, suffered an injury toward the end of Game 4 when he landed awkwardly while attempting to save a loose ball near the Heat bench. The Heat went on to lose the game.
His absence was felt as Miami struggled early on in the game offensively. The Heat were besieged by a Celtics defense that forced them into ten turnovers in the first half, which led to 17 points for Boston. His presence was missed. Lowry was on the court for a total of 31 minutes, during which he scored five points and committed four turnovers.
The Heat started the second half with a scoring deficit of 13-0 and were outscored by their opponent 13-0.
Al Horford contributed six points and eleven rebounds for the Celtics… At the break, the score was 61–44 in favor of the Celtics. It wasn’t until 8 minutes and 16 seconds into the second quarter that Boston committed their first turnover of the game.
In front of their home crowd, the Celtics got off to the strong start that they had been hoping for.
Tatum scored on the other end after Smart started a fast break by stealing the ball from Adebayo during Miami’s first possession of the game.
After that, with the score still knotted at 4, Tatum found himself in a position of freedom in the lane and dunked the ball with both hands. After that, he celebrated by hanging on the rim of the basket and continuing his antics after landing, which resulted in a technical foul.
The Celtics continued to build on their momentum, eventually leading by as much as 23-7 after the first quarter. The period came to a close with Boston holding a lead of 35-20, highlighted by a 3-pointer made by White right before the buzzer.
During the first quarter of the game, the Celtics outscored the Heat from 3-point range by a score of 21-6, with 12 points coming from Tatum. Seven of Boston’s twelve shots were successful.