The vise turned one other rotation tighter on the Miami Warmth within the Japanese Convention finals.
Their once-safe 3-0 collection lead towards the Boston Celtics has narrowed to 3-2 after the Celtics took Sport 5, 110-97, Thursday.
The vise remains to be tight on the second-seeded Celtics who’ve discovered some coronary heart and a few dedication up to now two video games towards the Warmth who’re making an attempt to develop into the second No. 8 seed to achieve the NBA Finals.
The Celtics began the sport with the requisite urgency, grabbing a 28-13 lead late within the first quarter and 61-41 lead late within the second quarter.
Derrick White led 4 Boston gamers in double figures with 24 factors.
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Sport 6 is Saturday in Miami (8:30 p.m. ET, TNT), and whereas technically, it’s not a must-win for the Warmth (it’s for the Celtics), the Warmth choose to keep away from a return journey to Boston for Sport 7.
Historical past is in Miami’s favor. A workforce with a 3-0 collection lead within the NBA playoffs is 150-0. Simply three groups have compelled a Sport 7 — the Portland Path Blazers have been the latest to do it towards the Dallas Mavericks in 2003. The 1994 Denver Nuggets (misplaced to the Utah Jazz) and the 1951 New York Knicks (misplaced to the Rochester Royals) additionally did it.
The Celtics have the expertise. Have they got the intestinal fortitude?
Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo have been the one Warmth starters in double-digits in factors, and Miami’s starters have been outscored 82-35 by way of three quarters.
The Warmth have been with out Gabe Vincent (sprained left ankle), and he’s Miami’s third-leading scorer within the playoffs, averaging 13.1 factors, together with 17.5 factors on 50% 3-point shootings within the Celtics collection.
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Comply with NBA reporter Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter @JeffZillgitt