The Celtics cruised past the Heat in Game 5, extending the series yet again

May 25, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics guard Derrick White (9) reacts during the second quarter of game five against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals for the 2023 NBA playoffs at TD Garden. Image: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Derrick White scored 24 points as the host Boston Celtics prevented elimination for the second game in a row with a 110-97 win over the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals on Thursday

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The Heat have never led in a game, but they still hold a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series as they head home to Game 6 on Saturday.

White made 8 of 11 shots — including 6 of 8 from 3-point range — and Boston’s Marcus Smart hit 7 of 12 and 4 of 6, respectively, to highlight his 23-point performance. Smart also made five steals for the second-seeded Celtics

Jayson Tatum had 21 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds in the win, and teammate Jaylen Brown scored 21 points on a 3-for-5 shot from 3 points. Brown entered Thursday making just 3 of 25 shots from off the line in the series.

The Celtics shot powerfully 50.6 percent from the floor (40 of 79) and 41 percent from 3 points (16 of 39). Those percentages come after Boston made 51.2 percent of its shots from the floor and 40 percent from beyond the line in a 116-99 Game 4 win on Tuesday.

Duncan Robinson of Miami made 7 of 10 shots to score 18 points off the bench. Bam Adebayo had 16 points and eight rebounds, Haywood Highsmith added 15 points and Jimmy Butler and Caleb Martin each contributed 14 points for the eighth seed Heat.

Kyle Lowry scored just five points and committed four of his team’s 16 turnovers when starting for injured Gabe Vincent (sprained left ankle).

Boston shot out of the blocks with 14 unanswered points to take a 20-5 lead. Tatum scored his 12-point first quarter with a decisive dunk that gave the Celtics a 28–13 lead, and White finished with 11 points in the period after hitting a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Miami cut the deficit to 53-41 with 2:59 left in the second quarter before Boston went 8-0. White and Smart each hit 3 pointers during the spike to help the Celtics claim a 61-44 halftime lead.

Boston extended the lead to 18 points after three quarters and scored the first six points of the fourth to stop play.

–Field Level Media

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