In this postseason, the Boston Celtics have faced elimination four times and have not flinched.
In Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals on Thursday night, Derrick White scored 24 points, including six three-pointers, and the Boston Celtics defeated the Miami Heat by a score of 110-97 to extend the series.
Marcus Smart scored 23 points and stole five bases. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown each scored 21 points as the Celtics won their second consecutive game and cut the Heat’s series lead to 3-2. The Celtics have a 50 percent chance of becoming the first team in NBA history to overcome a 3-0 series deficit and triumph.
White stated, “We must do whatever it takes to win.”
Boston also survived two elimination games against the 76ers in the second round. Teams that have fallen behind 3-0 are 0-150 in series history.
Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla stated, “It simply indicates that our backs are against the wall and that we’re sticking together and competing at a high level to give ourselves a chance.”
The Heat will strive to become the 1984 NBA finals’ second No. 8 seed in Saturday’s Game 6 in Miami.
Jimmy Butler of the Heat stated, “We will always maintain a positive attitude, knowing we can and will win the series.” “We must conclude the matter at home.”
The Heat were denied a berth in the NBA finals for the second straight game, a day after the Florida Panthers punched the franchise’s first ticket to the Stanley Cup final since 1996.
“One game does not determine the next game,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. “It just doesn’t matter. It is about preparing and putting together a fantastic game as a group. Saturday will be a much better day for us. This is all we need to concentrate on right now.”
Duncan Robinson scored 18 points to lead the Heat. Bam Adebayo contributed 16 points and eight boards. Butler finished the game with 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists, but he did not play the final 9:47. Caleb Martin scored a total of 14 points.
It was the playoff low-scoring victory for Butler. He scored 16 points in Game 3, which Miami won decisively.
Miami never held the lead and committed 16 turnovers.
Robinson stated, “I don’t want to say we’re surprised, but they’ve raised the bar.” “We must now raise ours as well.”
Boston entered the day with a 4-5 record at TD Garden in the playoffs. However, with a boisterous home audience behind them, the Celtics thrived.
In the first half, they amassed a 20-point advantage by diving for stray balls, outcompeting Miami for rebounds, and finding each other for layups and dunks in transition.
The Heat trimmed the margin, but Boston kept making 3-pointers and led 96-72 in the fourth quarter.
The Boston crowd revived a “Beat the Heat!” refrain that had not been heard since Game 1.
The Heat started Kyle Lowry at point guard after Gabe Vincent’s left ankle sprain earlier in the day. This was Lowry’s first appearance since February 2nd.
Vincent, the Heat’s third-leading scorer in the postseason, was injured late in Game 4 when he attempted to save a stray ball near the Heat bench and landed awkwardly.
Miami’s offensive struggled against a Celtics defence that forced 10 first-half turnovers and 17 Boston points in his absence. Lowry logged 31 minutes of action, tallied five points, and committed four turnovers.
“I believe it’s now a series,” Brown said.