Celtics Fight For Win to Extend Their Season

The Boston Celtics grinded their way to a 121-108 win over the Miami Heat in Game 5  of the Eastern Conference Finals to keep their season alive, thanks to the magnificent play of Jayson Tatum, with his 31 points and 10 rebounds in the game.

Boston found themselves in an early hole after a slow start in the first quarter. The Celtics, already down 3-1 in the best-of-seven series, started off Game 5 by missing 11 of their first 12 shots, as they seemed to be mentally checked out for most of the first half. They managed to stay within striking distance, as they were only down seven points at halftime, after what seemed to be one of their worst halves of the playoffs in the biggest game of their season.

But their woes didn’t last. The Celtics came roaring out at halftime and scored 41 points in the third quarter, led by their young superstar Tatum as he scored 17 of his 31 points in the third alone.

The turnaround play from starting center Daniel Theis helped fuel this team to make a comeback. Theis was benched for Enes Kanter in the first half, but came out after halftime and provided a much needed spark for the Celtics. Theis added 15 points and 13 rebounds in what was arguably the best playoff performance of his career. 

In a post-game press conference, Boston’s Jaylen Brown had high praise for Theis. 

“Anytime Theis is great, it’s good for our team. He probably doesn’t get the credit he deserves, he has a tough job every night so big shout out to Theis,” Brown said.

Brown also provided a huge impact on the team’s performance, as he helped clinch the Celtic’s victory over the Heat with 28 points and 8 rebounds and knocked down two clutch three pointers to seal the win. Brown was happy with how the team responded following their loss in game four.

“Like I said, it’s a lot of fight in our team,” Brown said. “And we came this far. We sacrifice so much. And we’ve been here a long ass time. So if anything, if we go out, we were going to go down fighting.”

Though the team has not looked like itself the past few games, head coach Brad Stevens saw something in Game 5 that looked more like what he is used to seeing. While mic’d up in the huddle, Stevens told the team, “In all sincerity, this is the first time I’ve seen Celtics basketball in the last few games.”

Though Boston is still down 3-2 in the series, this game may have shifted momentum in the Celtics favor. They will look to continue their winning ways and force a Game 7 Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.

Follow Nick on Twitter @NFrieburger.