NBA playoffs

Celtics cruise past Heat in Game 5, extend series again


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Celtics cruise past Heat in Game 5, extend series again

STILL ALIVE. Jayson Tatum and Derrick White show the way for the Celtics.

Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Celtics trim their deficit in the Eastern Conference finals to 2-3 as they score a dominant home win over the Heat behind a balanced attack

Derrick White scored 24 points as the host Boston Celtics staved off elimination for the second consecutive contest with a 110-97 win over the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals on Thursday, May 25 (Friday, May 26, Manila time).

The Heat never lead in the game, but they still hold a 3-2 edge in the best-of-seven series as they head home for Game 6 on Saturday.

White made 8 of 11 shots – including 6 of 8 from three-point range – and Boston’s Marcus Smart sank 7 of 12 and 4 of 6, respectively, to highlight his 23-point performance. Smart also had 5 steals for the second-seeded Celtics.

Jayson Tatum collected 21 points, 11 assists, and 8 rebounds in the victory, while teammate Jaylen Brown scored 21 points while shooting 3-for-5 from three-point range. Brown entered Thursday having made just 3 of 25 shots from beyond the arc in the series.

The Celtics shot a robust 50.6% from the floor (40 of 79) and 41% from three-point range (16 of 39). Those percentages came on the heels of Boston making 51.2% of its shots from the floor and 40% from beyond the arc in a 116-99 victory in Game 4 on Tuesday.

Miami’s Duncan Robinson made 7 of 10 shots to score 18 points off the bench. Bam Adebayo collected 16 points and 8 rebounds, Haywood Highsmith added 15 points, and Jimmy Butler and Caleb Martin each had 14 for the eighth-seeded Heat.

Kyle Lowry scored just 5 points and committed 4 of his team’s 16 turnovers while starting in place of the injured Gabe Vincent (sprained left ankle).

Boston bolted out of the blocks by scoring 14 unanswered points to seize a 20-5 lead. Tatum highlighted his 12-point first quarter with an emphatic dunk that gave the Celtics a 28-13 lead, and White finished with 11 points in the period after draining a three-pointer at the buzzer.

Miami trimmed the deficit to 53-41 with 2:59 remaining in the second quarter before Boston ignited an 8-0 run. White and Smart each drained a three-pointer during that surge to help the Celtics claim a 61-44 advantage at halftime.

Boston extended the lead to 18 points after three quarters and scored the first 6 points of the fourth to put the game on ice. –

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