The Boston Celtics continued their dominant game in Game 4 with their second straight win over the Miami Heat in Game Five on Thursday night. Led by Jaylene Brown (25 points, four rebounds) and Jason Tatum (22 points, 12 rebounds, 9 assists), Boston clinched a 93-80 win to advance 3-2 in the series and push Miami to the brink. Removal.
The Heat actually led the game at the end of the first half, but the Celtics completely flipped the script during the last 24 minutes of action and beat Miami on both ends of the ground to close out the competition. In addition to Brown and Tatum, Boston also got some big contributions from Al Horford, who has 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and Derek White (14 points, five assists). Now, the Celtics are just one win away from their first NBA Finals appearance since 2010.
The Bostonians will be looking to finish the series off in front of their home fans in Game 6 on Friday night, while the Heat will look to look back, extend their season, and force a crucial game 7. Before moving into Game 6, here’s a look at four key points from Boston’s Game 5 win. .
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1. History besides Boston
Game 5 has proven to be a pivotal game in a top-seven streak, especially when the series is tied 2-2 after four games. Historically, teams that win game five in this scenario go on to win the series nearly 82 percent of the time. This number is quite staggering, but it makes sense, as the winner of Game 5 is given 2 chances to win once, while the loser of Game 5 must win 2 times in a row to save their season. This is the situation facing Miami now. They must win twice in a row, or their current campaign will be over. History is not on their side, but it is not impossible for them to face, as it was before. It’s clear that Boston wants to take care of the home business in Game 6 to avoid Do or Die 7 in Miami.
2. Where was Jimmy?
Jimmy Butler has clearly established himself as Miami’s top player and go-to guy, but he hasn’t made it to the Heat during the last three games of the series. After scoring just 14 points in Game 3 and 4 combined, Butler racked up just 13 points in what was the most important game in Miami this season. He fired 18 shots, but made only four of them, and made contact in only one of his five attempts from distance.
In addition to missed shots, there was a general lack of aggressiveness from Butler, evidenced by the fact that he made only four free throws in the game. This is the guy who can usually get to the fault line as he pleases, but he wasn’t in attack mode. Maybe he’s dealing with injury issues, or maybe he’s out of fuel after a long season, but the Heat won’t win many games – and certainly not the series – with Butler playing as badly as he did in Game 5.
3. Laurie Strauss’ Forgotten Game
Kyle Lowry has been dealing with a hamstring injury throughout the post-season, but he played in Game Five against the Celtics, and he was downright bad. In 25 minutes of work, Lowry went goalless, missing all six of his goal-scoring attempts. He didn’t do much, if anything, in the gaming industry either, as he finished the game without assists. The top counted stats were turnover (3) and personal errors (5).
Lowry is clearly not at 100 per cent, but few players are at this point in the season, and if he’s out there playing, injury shouldn’t be used as an excuse. If he’s been held back badly, he probably wouldn’t even be on the floor for Miami, because he certainly didn’t help much on Tuesday night.
It didn’t help in the Miami case that the player who started alongside Lowry in the backcourt, Max Strauss, also missed every shot he fired. Together, the duo went 0 out of 15 off the ground. for every ESPN, this is the worst starting backcourt performance in a playoff since the starters were officially tracked in 1970-71. It’s hard to win when your two goalkeepers don’t take a single shot.
4. Heat is historically bad in the long run
If you’ve been watching this game and feel like the heat just can’t throw a beach ball into the ocean, you’re onto something. As a team, Miami took 45 three-pointers, and only made seven of them. This equates to 15.6 percent. This is the second lowest percentage for a team in NBA playoff history with 40 or more attempts.
When a team shoots really badly from distance, you might think at some point they’ll change their approach and try to push more drive into the basket, but instead the Heat seemed content to keep letting it fly, which is definitely part of the reason they lost.
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