Three players who stepped up as the Boston Celtics avoided elimination Friday night with a 121-108 Game 5 victory over the Miami Heat.
With 24 minutes left in their NBA season, the Boston Celtics found their heart and imposed their will on the Miami Heat in a 121-108 victory in Game 5.
In looking like they were ready to go home throughout most of the first half, the Celtics found their energy after a passionate halftime speech by Kemba Walker to show the Heat that they have a fight on their hands if they want to advance to the 2020 NBA Finals.
Led by their two young stars, the Celtics turned up the heat defensively and moved the ball offensively to attack that Heat zone.
After trailing 58-51 at halftime, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and the Boston Celtics erupted on a 20-3 run in the third quarter to grab a lead they would not lose and force a Game 6 where now anything can happen and it was all inspired by the man they brought in to be a leader. That man Kemba Walker.
“What I remember from halftime is Kemba saying, ‘We just need to settle down a little bit,” Brown said after the game, as transcribed by Celtics.com. “We all felt the intensity that we all had in the beginning. I don’t think we came out flat. It was different from Game 4 for us. We had the intensity, it was just coming out all over the place for us. We just had to dial in a little bit.”
Dial it in they did. Not only did they cool down Miami hot shooters Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson with great communication on the defensive end of the court, they caught fire on the offensive end with great ball movement and really utilizing their bigs to create offense.
Most importantly, the Boston Celtics smelled blood on Friday night and kept their foot on the pedal. While that second half was a complete team effort, here are the three players who erupted and changed the complexion of Game 5 and the series.