09/25 22:35 CDT Celtics control second half, top Heat to win Game 5 in East
Celtics control second half, top Heat to win Game 5 in East
By TIM REYNOLDS
AP Basketball Writer
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) --- Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics clearly are
not ready to see the world that exists outside the NBA's restart bubble.
And a big second half extended their stay at Walt Disney World.
Tatum had 31 points and 10 rebounds, Jaylen Brown added 28 points and the
Celtics staved off elimination by topping the Miami Heat 121-108 in Game 5 of
the Eastern Conference finals on Friday night.
The Heat lead the series 3-2, with Game 6 on Sunday.
Daniel Theis had 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Celtics, who trailed by 12
early but took control with a big third quarter. Kemba Walker scored 15 points,
Marcus Smart added 12 and Gordon Hayward had 10 for the Celtics.
Goran Dragic scored 23 points before fouling out with 4:27 left for Miami,
which got 20 from Duncan Robinson. Jimmy Butler scored 17, Tyler Herro and Jae
Crowder each had 14 and Bam Adebayo 13 for the Heat --- which could get nothing
to fall from 3-point range.
Miami was 7 for 36 from beyond the arc, now shooting 24.8% on 3's in its last
13 quarters --- after shooting 38.3% in the playoffs before that drought.
Brown made back-to-back 3's in the fourth quarter to turn an eight-point lead
into a 103-89 margin with 8:05 left.
He turned a blew a kiss to the Heat bench after the second one, reminiscent of
something Herro did during his 37-point barrage in Game 4.
The opening minutes didn't go according to plan for Boston, which missed 11 of
its first 12 shots, committed four turnovers in that dismal stretch to make
matters even worse, and got into a 17-5 hole very early.
But they weathered all that and, even after shooting only 40% in the first
half, Boston trailed 58-51 at the break --- never leading, but never letting
Miami get too far removed from view.
The Heat scored the first basket of the third quarter. The next few minutes
were all Celtics.
They went on a 13-0 run over a stretch of only 3:06 to turn a nine-point
deficit into a 64-60 lead, and the game changed just that fast. A separate 7-0
burst followed, Walker connected on a 3-pointer with 4:26 left for a 77-67 edge
-- Boston's first double-digit cushion of the night -- and the Celtics
eventually led by 14 before settling for a 92-83 lead going into the fourth.
"In all sincerity, first time I've seen Celtics basketball in the last few
games," Stevens told his team during a time-out.
And it was good enough to ensure that Friday wouldn't be the last time he'd see
Celtics basketball this season.
Heat: Adding to the woes of the third quarter was this --- Miami was
outrebounded 16-5 in those 12 minutes. ... With their fourth 3-pointer Friday,
by Robinson with 47 seconds left in the first half, the Heat passed the 2017-18
Golden State Warriors (1,161) for 14th place on the single-season 3's list.
Next up: The 2016-17 Warriors, who had 1,198.
Celtics: Not that any of this should count on a neutral floor, but Boston ended
what officially goes down as a five-game "home" losing streak. ... The Celtics
are 2-0 when facing elimination games this season. The last time Boston won
multiple elimination games in the same season was 2008, when it prevailed in
first- and second-round Game 7's and going on to win the NBA title.
This was the 18th playoff game in Celtics history where they scored at least 41
points in a quarter --- and probably not surprisingly, they're 18-0 in those
games. It has happened in 20 different quarters; they did it in three separate
quarters in a 157-128 win over the Knicks on April 28, 1990.
The only other time Miami allowed 41 points in a postseason quarter was June
10, 2014, when the Heat were outscored 41-25 in the first quarter of Game 3 of
that season's NBA Finals against San Antonio. Coincidentally, Friday's
third-quarter debacle had the same score: 41-25.