Celtics vs. Heat score, takeaways: Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum take over the second half in Boston’s Game 5 win

The Boston Celtics eased off their dominant performance in Game 4 Thursday night with a second straight win over the Miami Heat in Game 5. Led by Jaylen Brown (25 points, four rebounds) and Jayson Tatum (22 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists), Boston clinched a 93-80 win to take a 3-2 lead in the series and marginalize Miami to drive elimination.

The Heat actually led the game at halftime, but the Celtics completely reversed the script in the final 24 minutes, outplaying Miami on both ends of the floor to end the contest. In addition to Brown and Tatum, Boston also got some big contributions from Al Horford, who had 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and Derrick White (14 points, five assists). Now the Celtics are just one win away from making their first NBA Finals appearance since 2010.

Boston will look to end the streak in Friday night’s Game 6 in front of their home crowd as the Heat try to recover, extend their season and force a crucial Game 7. Before they move on to Game 6 though, here’s a look at four key takeaways from Boston’s Game 5 win.

1. History is on Boston’s side

Game 5 has proven to be a crucial game in a best-of-seven series, especially when the series is tied 2-2 after four games. Historically, teams that win Game 5 in this scenario win the series nearly 82 percent of the time. That number is pretty amazing, but it makes sense since the Game 5 winner has two chances to get a win, while the Game 5 loser needs to get two wins in a row to salvage their season. This is the situation Miami faces now. You must win twice in a row or your current campaign will come to an end. History isn’t on their side, but it’s not an impossible feat they face like it’s been done before. Clearly, Boston will want to take care of business at home in Game 6 to avoid a do-or-die Game 7 in Miami.

2. Where was Jimmy?

Jimmy Butler has clearly established himself as Miami’s top player and go-to person, but he’s been a no-show for the Heat in the last three games of the series. After a combined total of just 14 points in Games 3 and 4, Butler amassed just 13 points in Miami’s most important game of the season. He made 18 shots, but only four of them, and he hit only one of his five attempts from long range.

In addition to missing shots, Butler lacked aggression overall, exemplified by the fact that he only caught four total free throws in the game. This is a guy who can usually get to the foul line at will, but he just wasn’t in attack mode. Maybe he’s struggling with injury issues, or maybe he’s just running out of gas after a long season, but the Heat won’t win many games — and they certainly won’t win the streak — if Butler plays as poorly as he did in game 5.

3. A game to remember for Lowry, Strus

Kyle Lowry struggled with a hamstring injury throughout the postseason, but he played Game 5 against the Celtics and was extremely miserable. In 25 minutes, Lowry remained scoreless as he missed all six of his field goal attempts. He also didn’t do much playmaking, if any, as he finished the game with no assists. His highest counting stats were turnovers (3) and personal fouls (5).

It’s clear Lowry isn’t at 100 per cent, but few players are at this point in the season and if he’s out there, injury shouldn’t serve as an excuse. If he’s disabled that badly, he probably shouldn’t even be on the floor for Miami because he certainly didn’t help much Tuesday night.

It didn’t help Miami’s cause that the player who started alongside Lowry in backcourt, Max Strus, also missed every single shot he took. Together, the duo went 0-of-15 off the floor. Per ESPN, which is the worst shooting performance from a starting backcourt in a playoff game since starters were officially tracked in 1970-71. It’s hard to pull out a win when your two starting supervisors don’t take a single shot.

4. Heat historically bad at long range

If you watched this game and felt like the heat couldn’t throw a beach ball into the sea, you had stumbled upon something. As a team, Miami took 45 3-pointers, and they only made seven of them. This corresponds to 15.6 percent. That’s the second-lowest percentage for a team in NBA playoff history with 40 or more tries.

When a team shoots that badly from long range you’d think they would eventually change their approach and try to put more drives in the basket, but instead the Heat just seemed content to let it fly further and that’s certainly part of the reason they lost.

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