Celtics fly over Heat, again, to force Game 6 in Eastern Conference Finals

Celtics fly over Heat, again, to force Game 6 in Eastern Conference Finals

The Boston Celtics made things interesting in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Celtics, after falling to a historically insurmountable 0-3 series hole, earned their second straight win Thursday night at TD Garden. They outshot the Miami Heat 110-97 in Game 5 of the series in Boston, which forced a Game 6 Saturday night in South Florida.

While no team has ever managed to overcome a 0-3 series deficit before, and the Celtics still have a long way to go to get there and reach their second straight NBA Finals, their last two wins at least show they are able to pull off this feat.

The Celtics took off almost instantly on Thursday night. They held Miami to just 5 points for the first seven minutes of the game while jumping 15 points. Derrick White then drilled a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, their seventh of the quarter, to give Boston a 35-20 lead at the first break.

As the Heat reduced the game to 11 points a few times midway through the second, Boston closed out the quarter strong to take a 17-point lead in the locker room. By then, the Heat’s starters had scored just 19 combined points.

At that point, the Heat seemed to be doing well. With every attempted move they tried to make in the third, Boston responded perfectly. The Celtics edged Miami by just one point in the period and took an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter. Any Heat run was long gone by then, and head coach Erik Spoelstra pulled his starters midway through the period. Even though Miami trimmed the Celtics’ lead slightly in the final minutes, Boston took the win by 13 points without a hitch.

Marcus Smart and the Celtics forced a Game 6 in Thursday night’s Eastern Conference Finals. (Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald/Getty Images)

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 figures. The Heat were without Gabe Vincent, 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 Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown finished with 21 points. In total, this group combined for 89 of Boston’s 110 total points. They shot nearly 51% from the field as a team and went 16 of 39 from behind the arc. Boston is now just the third team in NBA history to force a Game 6 after losing its first three games of the series as the team with the highest winning percentage as well. by ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.

The Celtics’ blowout victory on Thursday follows a 17-point win in Game 4 on Tuesday at Miami, where Tatum dropped 33 points and pulled the Celtics out of a 9-point hole in the second half to claim the win and keep. alive in the playoffs.

Game 6 of the series is Saturday night at the Kaseya Center in Miami. While the teams that went 3-0 up are a perfect 150-0, the Heat don’t want to let the Eastern Conference Finals go to a Game 7 in Boston next week. That would make things really interesting.


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