The Boston Celtics have officially made it interesting in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Celtics, after falling into a historic insurmountable gap in the 0-3 series, picked up their second dominant win in a row at TD Garden on Thursday night. They rolled past the Miami Heat 110-97 in Game 5 of the series in Boston, which forced a Game 6 in South Florida on Saturday night.
While no team has ever successfully come out of a 0-3 deficit and the Celtics have a long way to go to actually pull that off and reach their second NBA Finals in a row, their last two wins in at least see that they are capable of pulling off that feat.
The Celtics started almost immediately on Thursday-evening. They held Miami to just 5 points for the first nearly seven minutes of the game, as they jumped up 15 points almost immediately. Derrick White then boomed a buzzing three-pointer, their seventh of the quarter, to give Boston a 35-20 lead going into the first break.
While the Heat cut the game to 11 points a few times midway through the second, Boston finished the quarter strong and took a 17-point lead into the locker room. At that point, the Heat starters had scored just 19 combined runs.
By then the heat seemed good. Every effort they tried in the third inning, Boston responded perfectly. The Celtics defeated Miami by one point in the period to take an 18-point lead going into the fourth quarter. Any Heat run was long over by that point, and coach Erik Spoelstra withdrew his starters halfway through the period. Although Miami narrowed the Celtics’ lead slightly in the closing minutes, Boston rolled into the 13-point victory without a problem.
Bam Adebayo led the Heat with 16 points and 8 rebounds. Jimmy Butler finished with 14 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. They were the only two Heat starters to score in double digits. The Heat were without Gabe Vincent on Thursday night, who sprained his ankle late in Game 4 of the series.
White led the Celtics with 24 points in the win. Marcus Smart added 23 points and both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown finished with 21 points. In total, that group combined for 89 of Boston’s 110 points. They shot nearly 51% from the field as a team and went from behind the arc 16 of 39. Boston is now only the third team in NBA history to force a Game 6 after losing the first three games in the series, also as the team with the higher winning percentage. according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.
The Celtics’ victory on Thursday follows a 17-point win in Game 4 on Tuesday in Miami, where Tatum dropped 33 points and pulled the Celtics out of a 9-point gap in the second half to take the win and clinch it. keep them alive in the postseason.
Game 6 of the series takes place on Saturday night at the Kaseya Center in Miami. While teams that are up 3-0 are a perfect 150-0, the Heat doesn’t want the Eastern Conference Finals to go to a Game 7 in Boston next week. That would make it really interesting.