NBA Playoffs: Boston keeps comeback hopes alive after cooling Heat in Game 5

Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics win Game 5 to stay alive in the series (Charles Krupa/Associated Press via

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Boston Celtics kept its historic 0-3 comeback hopes alive after demolishing the Miami Heat in Game 5, 110-97, to pull themselves within a 2-3 series deficit in the ongoing Eastern Conference finals of the NBA Playoffs last May 26, 2023.

Facing elimination in front of their loud and energetic home fans, the Celtics wasted no time and immediately buckled to work after establishing an early double-digit lead in the first five minutes of the ball game.

Thanks to their efficient three-point shooting, a department that went inconsistent in the first three games that held their offense down.

Aside from their three-point shots that fell, Boston finally imposed their will underneath and outworked the Heat on the defensive and offensive boards.

Boston’s motor and nose for the ball rewarded them with a total of 12 offensive rebounds which resulted in 17 second-chance points compared to Miami’s seven.

It was only during this game that the Celtics won the second chance points department and quickly began to steamroll its way after the duo of Al Horford and Robert Williams III outplayed Bam Adebayo and Kevin Love down the block.

As the game went on and Boston was already equipped with tightened screws, Miami never stood a chance and failed to trim their deficit to single digits until the final buzzer sounded.

One of the biggest stories of the Celtics’ win was their balanced attack after four players contributed double digits in scoring each.

Derrick White led all players in scoring with 24 points built from an impressive 6/8 from the three-point line while Marcus Smart had his best offensive performance of the series so far with 23 points, five steals, three rebounds, and two assists.



Meanwhile, the dynamic duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown each contributed 21 points and combined for 13 assists and 10 rebounds.

On the other hand, Miami’s superstar Jimmy Butler only produced 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists in a game where they could’ve closed the show and advanced to the NBA finals.

The Heat badly missed the services of star guard Gabe Vincent who was ruled out of the game due to a sprained ankle injury he suffered during their last game.

Can Boston force a Game 7 and steal the Game 6 win on Miami’s home floor or will the Heat finish the series and challenge the Denver Nuggets for the ultimate chip?