The Boston Celtics ferociously took their advantage at home, keeping their season alive with a dominant 110-97 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday.
Both teams shot above 50 percent from the field, but the Celtics clamped the Heat with their defensive intensity by tallying 13 steals and forcing them to suffer from 16 turnovers.
Four Celtics cracked within the 20+ point-mark as Derrick White was at front with 24 points in a sizzling 8-of-11 shooting. Marcus Smart got 23 points, while both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown added 21 markers each.
In a losing effort, Jimmy Butler was passive with only 15 points while Bam Adebayo had 16. Duncan Robinson was the only bright spot for Miami, lighting up with 18 bench points.
Evading a sweep back in Game 4, the C’s repeated their robust performance and relied on the energy of the TD Garden faithful to extend the East Finals saga.
Since the tip, Boston hammered Miami with an early momentum in the first frame thanks to their hot shooting treys. They went coast to coast and gripped to their double-digit lead until the final buzzer.
Per ESPN’s Mark Williams, the Celtics are just the third team in NBA playoff history to force Game 6 after being down 0-3 in a best-of-seven series even with a higher win percentage. For further context, no team has ever come back after facing an 0-3 edge in a postseason series.
It is yet to be seen if the C’s will be able to carry their gigantic momentum with Game 6 set on Saturday night.