Boston : Boston Celtics fought back to boost up Game 5 against Miami Heats 121-108 in the Eastern Conference Finals of the NBA late Friday (September 25). The Celtics now have a chance to draw level in Game 6 on Monday (September 28) after making it 2-3 in the best-of-seven Conference finals. Jayson Tatum (31 points) and Jaylen Brown (28 points) starred for the winning team, while Heats had six players in double figures with Goran Dragic leading the pack with 23 points.
After leading through the first half, Heats found the going tough in the third quarter after some fine defensive display from the Celtics. From there on, the Celtics maintained the lead and closed the game in their favour.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens hailed his team’s defensive display.
“I thought we played with great tenacity defensively in the third quarter and our offense followed suit. They are a heck of an offensive team, a heck of a well-coached team and are hard to guard,” said Stevens. The 43-year-old coach also praised center Daniel Theis who was the third highest scorer for the Celtics with 15 points and 13 rebounds to his name.
“I thought he was pretty good all night. He started the game with good energy and defensively I felt he was one of our bright spots in the first half but then in the second half he was excellent. We need him to provide what he provides. He was great in the middle and he was great on the glass at both ends,” added Stevens.
Heats’ head coach Erik Spoelstra felt his team did not compete hard enough.
“We are not getting caught up in all the nerves. Boston deserved and earned what they got. We did not compete hard enough defensively and we paid the price for that,” said Spoelstra.
The 49-year-old coach admitted that Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals isn’t going to be easy and they will look to seal their spot in the NBA Finals on Monday.
“We have great respect for Boston. We are not expecting it to be easy, we have to earn it. We will learn from this, go to work tomorrow and try to get ready for the next one,” added Spoelstra.
Next Game Schedule:
Sept 27: 6:30 am (IST): LA Lakers vs Denver Nuggets
Sept 28: 5 am (IST): Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics