NBA playoffs

Too hot: Celtics advance with Game 5 blowout of Heat


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Too hot: Celtics advance with Game 5 blowout of Heat

ON FIRE. Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum celebrates a three-point basket against the Miami Heat in Game 5.

Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Jayson Tatum and the hot-shooting Celtics turn back the Heat, who fire a horrendous 10% from three-point range to exit the first round just a season after going all the way to the finals

Derrick White and Jaylen Brown each tossed in 25 points to help the Boston Celtics wrap up their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series against the visiting Miami Heat with a 118-84 victory in Game 5 on Wednesday, May 1 (Thursday, May 2, Manila time).

Jayson Tatum added 16 points and 12 rebounds for the top-seeded Celtics, who won the final three games in the best-of-seven series.

Boston will play either fourth-seeded Cleveland or fifth-seeded Orlando in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Cavaliers have a 3-2 lead over the Magic in that series, which resumes Friday, May 3.

“We came in and threw the first punch,” Brown said. “We played fast. We played aggressive and found a way to get a win. That was the best thing.

“Just take it one game at a time. We just gotta keep staying with it. We gotta clean up some stuff that we’ve been messing up on and we’re going to keep getting better as the playoffs go on. It’s always great to advance, but tomorrow we get ready for whoever’s next.”

White and Sam Hauser each made five three-pointers in the Celtics’ win. Hauser finished with 17 points off the bench.

Bam Adebayo led the Heat with 23 points and 6 assists, and Tyler Herro added 15 points. 

Caleb Martin and Thomas Bryant each finished with 10 points, the only other Miami players who scored in double figures.

Eighth-seeded Miami shot 3-of-29 (10.3%) from three-point range and was outrebounded 56-29.

The Heat, who didn’t have Jimmy Butler (knee) or Terry Rozier (neck) for the series, was also without rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. on Wednesday. 

Jaquez was diagnosed with a right hip flexor strain that also caused him to miss the fourth quarter of Game 4.

“We’re not going to put this on the fact that we’ve had some injuries,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Let’s not take anything away from Boston. They’ve been the best team in basketball all season long, and in this series in four of the games they played as such.

“They’ve got a very good team. They know what they’re doing and they deserved this one… You could sense that they wanted this to end right now, tonight, and not let this thing get back to Miami. That’s a sign of a mature team.”

Boston played Wednesday without Kristaps Porzingis, who will be sidelined for an unspecified amount of time with a soleus (calf) strain. Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said Porzingis would be re-evaluated next week.

The game was tied 11-11 early, but Boston took control by scoring 21 of the next 26 points, capped by a Hauser three-pointer. The Celtics made eight triples in the opening quarter and had a 41-23 lead after 12 minutes.

The Celtics extended the edge to 30 points in the second quarter and had a 68-46 advantage at halftime. 

Boston led 98-66 after three quarters and rested its starters for much of the fourth. The Celtics were up by 37 at one point in the final quarter. 

“I thought we got off to a good start and we were consistent throughout the entire game, which is really hard to do against a team like that,” Mazzulla said. 

“That’s something I think this team has done throughout the entire year is play with a high level of consistency, a high level of focus, a high level of physicality.” –

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