Celtics take gritty game five win in Miami
FiredUp Network Sports Writer
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Boston blowout brings Celtics within one win away from NBA Finals
The Boston Celtics are one win away from an NBA Finals birth, as they defeated the Miami Heat 93-80.
The game started out slow on both sides, as shots routinely popped in-and-out of the rim for the Celtics and Heat. Jayson Tatum collided with Kyle Lowry and seemed to hurt his left shoulder on the play, as he looked passive in the first attempting only one shot. The Heat took a razor-thin 19-17 lead heading into the second.
With the Heat looking to bounce back, Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra made the strategic adjustment of removing Dwayne Dedmon out of the rotation in favour of players like Duncan Robinson and Cody Martin, as P.J. Tucker filled in as the team’s de-facto backup centre.
The adjustment made all the difference for a Miami team that struggled to score in the halfcourt, painstakingly so in game four. With more space to run their offence, Miami was able to score more effectively, and more often in the first half, but it was still oftentimes a struggle for both teams to string together multiple consistent scoring opportunities or any type of scoring run in the first half.
Miami’s emphasis on attacking the offensive glass was a major factor in their 42-37 lead at halftime, as they out-rebounded Boston 9-2 on the offensive glass which led to 16 second chance points.
The game began to loosen up in the second half, but Boston came out of halftime as the looser, more urgent team. The Celtics had finally broken through offensively, as they jumped out to an 11-point lead largely on the backs of more shot making from the likes of Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, and Tatum who all began picking things up on offence. Out-scoring the Heat 32-16 in the quarter, the Celtics took a 69-58 lead heading into the fourth and final quarter.
The Heat trailed by as many as 23 early in the fourth as Boston continued to put the pressure on with a 24-2 run dating back to the end of the third quarter. Miami attempted to make an effort at making a dent at the lead, coming as close as 13 points, but the Celtics never looked back to take the game five win.
Jaylen Brown led the way for Boston with 25 points and four rebounds. Tatum finished one assist shy of a triple double, as he recorded 22 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists on the night. With the Celtics one win away from the NBA Finals, the Miami Heat will look to force a winner-take-all game seven on Friday. Tip-off begins at 8:30 p.m. EST in TD Garden.