Celtics run past Heat 93-80, move a win from NBA Finals

MIAMI May 26 (US): The Boston Celtics know the formula. They believe that their defense, as has been the case so often in these playoffs, will eventually tire the teams out.

It’s hard to argue.


Jaylen Brown scored 25 points, Jason Tatum added 22, and the Celtics now have one NBA Finals win. They escaped after the break to defeat the Miami Heat 93-80 on Wednesday night and advance 3-2 in the Eastern Conference title series.


“I think the psychological pressure and stress we put on some teams with our defense has worked and carried us through qualifying at times,” Celtics coach Emi Udoka said.


Alhorford scored 16 points, and Derek White added 14 for the Celtics. Tatum finished with 12 rebounds and nine assists, the Associated Press reported.


Pam Adebayo scored 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat, who fired 32% in the game — after hitting 33% in Boston’s 20-point win in the fourth inning. Gabe Vincent added 15 points, Jimmy Butler 13, Duncan Robinson scored 11. Miami.


The heat was a 7 versus 45 out of a 3-point range. They played without a Tyler Hero (groin) injury, and many Miami players were suspicious of entering today for a variety of ailments.


“We are not going to do any kind of deviation or any kind of justification,” Heat coach Eric Spoelstra said. “Boston beat us tonight. And let’s be clear about that. There are guys who are far from 100% on both sides.”


Game Six takes place in Boston on Friday night, where a pair of trophies bearing the names of Celtics legends will await. The Bob Cozy Cup goes to the Eastern Champions, the Larry Bird Cup to the Eastern Conference MVP, and the Celtics are one win from their lift.

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“We have a chance to do something special with this group,” Brown said. “Let’s not take that for granted.”

This series saw massive momentum swings – Miami’s 44-14 round in game 1, 60-21 Boston in game 2, Miami’s 46-20 to open game 3 followed by 57-33 Boston in the same game, and 26-4 boom by Celtics to unlock Game 4.


Playing Game 5 was just as great.

The score over the 6 1/2 minute extended period of the second half: Celtics 24, Heat 2. The turnaround was 59-58 Boston versus 83-60 Boston.


“In the first half it was difficult because we didn’t hit the ball and we were flipping the ball,” Horford said. “But the key for us was to keep doing what we do in defence, and then play in attack. In the end we were able to move forward.”


Boston outperformed Miami 32-16 in the third quarter, resulting in the Heat holding 17%. The margin was only 11 at that point — but a 14-2 spurt was how Boston opened the fourth quarter, and Brown plugged the blow by making three three-pointers in a two-and-a-half minute period, the lead to 23.


Brown then closed matters by diving down the fairway with 5:19 left, the lead was 18 at that point and it was counting down to Boston.


“We’re still lined up,” Adebayo said. “We still have to play these games. We still want to win.”


The Celtics have not reached the NBA Finals since 2010. There have been four final runs in the East since then, with two losses to Miami and two defeats to Cleveland. There were also two chances like the one awaiting on Friday – Match 6 in 2012 against the Heat and Match 7 in 2018 against the Cavaliers – when the Celtics had the opportunity to claim the conference title simply by winning a home game.

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They lost both, LeBron James was the official player both times, with 45 points to save Miami in the 2012 game and 35 points to lift Cleveland in the 2018 playoff.


He won’t be in the Celtics’ way this time.


Miami will need someone to provide some semblance of impersonation.


“We know what we are capable of,” Butler insisted.


The show was insufficient in the first half. Miami advanced 19-17 after one and 42-37 in the second half. Tatum was 1 for 9 in the break, Butler 2 for 8, and the teams combined to shoot 37.8% from the field and 21.6% from 3-point range.


Miami, somehow, got even cooler to start the second half. The Celtics do not.


The Heat missed their first nine shots from the field after the break, dropping nothing until Butler saved a touchdown and scored on a run that reached Miami within 49-48 with 6:53 remaining in the third.


But the Celtics soon took control. from the game. and serial.


“If you want to break through the finals and get you into the finals, you’re going to have to do some ridiculously difficult things,” Spoelstra said.


Hints

Celtics: Boston is now 42-7 this season when teams are held to 105 points or less. …Marcus Smart tested his ankle with a sprain, declared he was fine and had only five points but the Celtics outscored the Heat by 13 points in nearly 24 minutes. …White and Robert Williams were third combined 7 for 8 in the first half, while the rest of their teammates were 6 for 26.

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Heat: Max Strus has been zero for 9, Kyle Lowry has been 0 for 6, and Heat starting guards are aggregate 1 for 28 in the last two games. Wednesday’s 0-15 game was the worst primary back-zone playoff display since the NBA began tracking the Novices in 1970. … it was the third-lowest total points of the season for a Heat game (78 vs. Boston in November). 4, 79 against Philadelphia on May 6).


HORFORD . watch

Match 6 will be Horford’s 140th match. No one has participated in more post-season competitions without appearing in the NBA Finals – something he and the Celtics could change with another win over Miami.


another way

It was the 14th time in the last 19 games during these qualifiers that the last margin was at least 10 points.






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