Not going home yet.
The Boston Celtics staved off elimination with a convincing 121-108 win over the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals on Friday, September 25 (Saturday, September 26, Manila time).
Jayson Tatum unloaded 31 points on top of 10 rebounds and 6 assists in 43 minutes as the Celtics live to fight another day, shaving their series deficit in the best-of-seven affair to 2-3.
The Celtics looked on the way to vacation after trailing 18-26 at the end of the opening period before they turned the tides in the second half to stall the Heat from reaching the NBA Finals.
With Tatum and Jaylen Brown at the forefront of their attack, the Celtics outscored the Heat, 41-25, in a stellar third-quarter assault as they entered the last frame up 92-83.
The Celtics’ 41 third-quarter points are their most in a quarter in this playoffs and the 16-point discrepancy is tied for their best point differential in a quarter this postseason.
Brown, who had 28 point and 8 rebounds, picked up where Tatum left off in the first 3 quarters with back-to-back triples early in the 4th quarter to give the Celtics a 103-89 lead as the Heat never came close again.
Daniel Theis put up 15 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 blocks for the Celtics, Kemba Walker chipped in 15 points and 7 assists, while Marcus Smart churned out 12 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, and 4 steals.
Gordon Hayward came off the bench and contributed 10 points in the win.
“We got back to playing Celtics basketball,” Walker said. “I felt like early in the game we were a little frustrated, bickering at each other at the refs. We got out of it, and just let the game come to us.”
Goran Dragic led the Heat with 23 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists before fouling out in the final quarter, while Jimmy Butler contributed 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists.
Tyler Herro, who starred for the Heat in Game 4 with a career-high 37 points, got limited to 14 points. – Rappler.com