Buckle up for a wicked ride in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Boston Celtics took control of Game 5 in the second half to win 121-108 and stave off elimination against the Miami Heat. Jayson Tatum scored 31 points and Jaylen Brown added 28 in the blowout. The Heat still hold a 3-2 series lead, and only need one more victory to advance to the NBA Finals, while the Celtics face another elimination game.
The Heat are 11-3 SU and ATS inside the NBA Bubble. Miami swept the #5 Indiana Pacers in the first round, and needed only five games to pick off the Greek Freak and the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Heat opened up a 3-1 lead over the Celtics after a sensational 37-point outburst from rookie Tyler Herro. However, the Heat were unable to deliver the coup de grace in Game 5.
|#3 Boston Celtics (2-3) vs #5 Miami Heat (3-2)|
- Tip-off: 4:30pm PT
- Point Spread: BOS -3
- Total: 214 o/u
- Moneyline: MIA +140 / BOS -150
The Mirage Sports Book in Las Vegas posted the Heat at 4/1 odds to win the NBA championship, while the Celtics are 8/1 odds.
According to a recent playoff series update from DraftKings, the Heat are -225 odds to win the Eastern Conference. The Celtics are +175 odds to win two games in a row and secure a berth in the NBA Finals against the LA Lakers.
Zone Busters, Celts Finally Alive
After a rough six quarters in a row, the Celtics sprung to life in the third quarter with 41 points. They outscored the Heat by 16 points, erasing a seven-point deficit.
The Elias Sports Bureau reported that the Celtics improved to 18-0 when they scored 40 or more points in a quarter.
“In all sincerity, first time I’ve seen Celtics basketball in the last few games,” said Boston head coach Brad Stevens.
The Heat chipped away at the lead at the start of the fourth quarter and cut the margin to under double digits. Kemba Walker took over and knocked down consecutive treys. That put the Celtics ahead by 14 points, letting them coast to a victory.
“We did not compete hard enough defensively, and we paid the price for that,” said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra. “You do have to credit Boston. They played with great force.”
For the first time all series, the Heat didn’t rely on a 2-3 zone in the first half. When the Heat went to the zone in the third quarter, the Celtics attacked the middle and went on a run. The Celtics held off a late Heat rally to lock up Game 5 and stave off elimination.
So Close for Miami, Ugly Treys
Live by the trey, die by the trey. The Heat died on the perimeter, which led to their demise in Game 5. The Heat jumped out to a fast 26-18 start in the first quarter courtesy of Duncan Robinson’s early sharpshooting. But the Heat went cold in the second half.
Miami connected on only seven 3-pointers in Game 5. Once they fell behind by double digits in the third quarter, they continued to jack up treys. The Heat were bricklayers, finishing the night 7-for-36 from 3-point land. The starters combined for 4-for-26 or a paltry 15.3%.
“I played like shit, bottom line,” admitted Bam Adebayo. “I’ll put that game on me. Not my teammates’ fault. It’s not my coaches’ fault. I missed too many shots I should have made.”
Adebayo scored 13 points and added eight assists and eight rebounds, but he definitely got beat in the paint by Tatum and Daniel Theis.
After burning the Celtics for 37 the other night, Tyler Herro drew double teams for most of the first half. However, Herro shot well when he was able to get off a shot. He finished with 14 points on 6-for-12 shooting.
After an ugly Game 5, the Heat are focused on closing out the series in Game 6.
“It’s certainly not going to be easy,” said Robinson. “We’ve got to band together to do difficult things.”
For the first time in the series, the Celtics looked like they solved the 2-3 zone. The Heat will have to tighten up the gaps in their zone and play harder on the perimeter in Game 6.