BOSTON (AP) – Derrick White had 24 points, including six 3-pointers, and the Boston Celtics dominated the Miami Heat 110-97 in Game 5 on Thursday night to extend the Eastern Conference finals.
Marcus Smart had 23 points and five steals. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown each finished with 21 points as the Celtics won their second straight to cut Miami’s series lead to 3-2.
That keeps alive Boston’s hopes of becoming the first team in NBA history to overcome a 3-0 deficit to win a series. Teams previously in that position are 0-150 all-time.
Game 6 is Saturday in Miami.
A day after the Florida Panthers clinched the franchise’s first Stanley Cup Finals berth since 1996, the Heat were denied a spot in the NBA Finals for the second straight game.
Duncan Robinson led the Heat with 18 points. Bam Adebayo added 16 points and eight rebounds. Jimmy Butler had 14 points, five rebounds and an assist, but was held scoreless in the final 9:47. Caleb Martin finished with 14 points.
It was Butler’s lowest scoring game in the playoffs. He had 16 points in Game 3, a big win for Miami.
Miami never led and had 16 turnovers.
Boston entered the day just 4-5 at TD Garden this postseason. But with a raucous home crowd behind them, the Celtics thrived on their energy.
They lost turnovers, outplayed Miami for rebounds and found each other for layups and dunks in transition as they scored as many as 20 points in the first half.
The Heat got into it, but Boston continued to knock down 3-pointers and extended its lead to as much as 96-72 in the fourth quarter.
Boston fans once again fired up “Beat the Heat!” chant that hasn’t been prevalent since the first game.
The Heat started Kyle Lowry at point guard after Gabe Vincent was ruled out with a sprained left ankle earlier in the day. It was Lowry’s first start since Feb. 2.
Vincent, the Heat’s third-leading scorer this postseason, was injured late in Miami’s Game 4 loss when he landed awkwardly while trying to save a loose ball near the Heat’s bench.
His presence was missed as Miami struggled early on the offensive end, overwhelmed by a Celtics defense that forced the Heat into 10 turnovers in the first half that led to 17 points for Boston. Lowry played 31 minutes, scored five points and had four turnovers.
Heat: Outscored 13-0 in second-half points in the opening 24 minutes.
Celtics: Al Horford added six points and 11 rebounds. … The Celtics went into halftime up 61-44. … Boston’s first turnover of the game didn’t come until 8:16 into the second quarter.
The Celtics got the fast start they were hoping for in front of their home crowd.
Smart stripped Adebayo on Miami’s first possession, prompting a fast break and layup on the other end by Tatum.
Then, with the game tied at 4, Tatum broke free in the lane for a monstrous two-handed dunk. He then hung on the rim and continued his celebration when he landed, leading to a technical foul.
That didn’t stop the Celtics’ momentum, as their lead grew to 23-7 in the first quarter. Boston ended the period with a 35-20 lead, punctuated by White’s 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Tatum scored 12 points in the first 12 minutes, and the Celtics outscored the Heat 21-6 from beyond the arc. Boston hit 7 of their 12 attempts.
Among the few celebrities at the Garden were Celtics Hall of Famer Paul Pierce, NCAA President Charlie Baker and New England Patriots Matt Slater and Devin McCourty.
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