Celtics defeat Heat again, now halfway to an improbable comeback

The Boston Celtics staged an impressive comeback in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals, defeating the Miami Heat 110-97 and forcing a Game 6. Led by Derrick White’s 24 points, including six 3-pointers, the Celtics dominated the game. Marcus Smart contributed 23 points and five steals, while Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown added 21 points each. This victory narrowed Miami’s series lead to 3-2 and kept alive Boston’s hopes of becoming the first team in NBA history to overcome a 3-0 deficit in a series.

The Heat struggled to recover from a 15-point deficit in the first quarter and never managed to take the lead. Duncan Robinson led the team with 18 points, followed by Bam Adebayo with 16 points and eight rebounds. Jimmy Butler, who had a relatively quiet game with 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists, was benched for the final 9 minutes and 47 seconds. Caleb Martin contributed 14 points off the bench. Miami committed 16 turnovers throughout the game.

Boston capitalized on their home-court advantage, with their passionate fans fueling their performance. Despite having a mediocre record at TD Garden during the playoffs, the Celtics thrived in front of their home crowd. They displayed relentless effort, diving for loose balls, dominating the rebounding battle, and converting fast-break opportunities into layups and dunks. They built a significant lead of up to 20 points in the first half and maintained their dominance, even as Miami made some attempts to rally. The Celtics’ fans reignited their support with a spirited “Beat the Heat!” chant.

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Miami made a lineup change, starting Kyle Lowry at point guard in place of the injured Gabe Vincent. Vincent suffered a sprained left ankle in the previous game and was unable to play. Lowry, who hadn’t started since February, struggled, scoring only five points and committing four turnovers in 31 minutes of play.

Noteworthy statistics from the game include the Heat being outscored 13-0 in second-half points during the first 24 minutes, and the Celtics taking a commanding 61-44 lead into halftime. Boston’s first turnover of the game didn’t occur until the second quarter, highlighting their strong ball security.

The Celtics had an ideal start to the game, seizing the momentum in front of their home crowd. Smart’s steal on Miami’s opening possession led to a fast break and a powerful two-handed dunk by Tatum. However, Tatum’s celebration, which included hanging on the rim, resulted in a technical foul. Nevertheless, Boston’s first-quarter lead reached a high of 23-7. They ended the period with a 35-20 lead, capped off by White’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Tatum was particularly impressive in the first quarter, scoring 12 points and leading the Celtics to outscore the Heat 21-6 from beyond the arc. Overall, Boston made 7 of their 12 attempts from 3-point range in the quarter.

Farjad Khairi

Meet Farjad, a talented sports journalist on our team. Premier League, UEFA Leagues, and other important sporting events are his specialty. With a wealth of research strength under his belt, Farjad is known for his in-depth analysis and insightful. When not writing, he loves to travel and try different foods and civilizations. Farjad is a passionate foodie who enjoys everything edible. Readers admire Farjad's unique take on sports, travel, and food.

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