BOSTON — We have ourselves a series, people.
The Boston Celtics defended dwelling court in Game five of the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday, rolling to a 110-97 win more than the Miami Heat at TD Garden to force a Game six on Saturday.
The Celtics are just the 15th group in NBA history to make it to Game six following trailing a greatest-of-seven playoff series three-. No group has ever won a series following trailing three- in 150 situations.
Boston’s part players stepped up in this one particular, with Derrick White and Marcus Smart contributing 24 and 23 points, respectively. Jayson Tatum flirted with a triple-double (21 points, eight rebounds, 11 assists), while Jaylen Brown chipped in 21.
Duncan Robinson led the Heat with 18 points although Jimmy Butler tallied just 14, as Miami’s offense struggled mightily with Gabe Vincent sidelined due to an ankle injury.
Right here are our takeaways from Boston’s second straight blowout victory, which cranks up the stress on Miami for Game six:
Derrick White: Distinction-maker
White had a quiet offensive series against the Philadelphia 76ers in Round two, but he’s produced a enormous influence in the Celtics’ final two wins — especially with his outdoors shot.
The C’s guard connected on six of eight three-pointers in Game five — 3 of which came in the 1st quarter to support Boston race to a 35-20 lead.
White aggressively looked for his shot all evening and now has 40 points on 13 of 21 shooting (9 of 15 from three) in the final two games.
The Celtics are at their greatest when they are spreading the floor and many players are hitting 3s, and White led the charge in that division Thursday. Just after hitting 15 of 36 three-pointers in Game five, Boston is now ten-two this postseason when it tends to make at least 13 three-pointers and -six when it tends to make 12 or fewer.
Tatum the facilitator
Tatum scored 12 points in the 1st nine minutes of play and did not score once again till the six:39 mark of the third quarter. But that does not imply he was off his game.
The Celtics superstar adopted a pass-1st mentality following his hot begin, creating fast choices on Miami double-teams to set his teammates up for open appears.
Tatum’s 11 assists are a season-higher and his most considering the fact that Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors (13). Whilst he struggled from three-point variety in this one particular (1 of six), Tatum nevertheless left a substantial imprint on the game, sparking the C’s early with his scoring and assisting secondary scorers like White and Intelligent get going with his passing.
Winning on the margins
The Celtics beat the Heat at their personal game Thursday evening.
Miami thrived on second-possibility points and points off turnovers in Games 1 via three, but Boston dominated each categories in Game five, racking up 17 second-possibility points to the Heat’s seven and 27 points off 16 Heat turnovers. The Celtics also racked up a season-higher 13 steals and grabbed 12 offensive rebounds.
Intelligent set the tone for Boston’s hustle in the 1st minute by diving for a loose ball and setting up a Tatum layup. The C’s out-hustled the Heat all evening, playing with a desperation that matched the do-or-die stakes.
The Celtics will have to have to come out with the identical power in Miami on Saturday evening if they want to continue their historic comeback.
Heat really feel Gabe Vincent’s absence
Vincent has been a important cog in Miami’s offensive attack in this series, and the Heat’s offense stalled with no him early in Game five.
The Heat mustered just 20 points in the 1st quarter, committing six turnovers to just 3 assists. Kyle Lowry committed two of these early turnovers although beginning in Vincent’s absence and completed with a brutal stat line: 5 points on two of five shooting with one particular help and 4 turnovers.
Vincent’s status for Saturday’s Game six in Miami remains unclear. But it undoubtedly bears watching, as he’s one particular of the Heat’s handful of trustworthy scorers outdoors Butler.
If Vincent cannot go in Game six — set for Saturday at eight:30 p.m. ET at Kaseya Center in Miami — anticipate the Celtics to bring a comparable defensive intensity and force the 37-year-old Lowry to make plays.
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