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The first half of Game 5 was a rock fight. Both teams were shooting below 40 percent from the field entering the break.

But in the second half, the Celtics played with more activity offensively; they turned stops into transition points, cut down on the turnovers after committing ten in the first two quarters, and found a rhythm they rode to victory.

As the Heat flamed out, Boston's stars stepped up. Jaylen Brown registered 19 of his game-high 25 points in the final two frames. Jayson Tatum went from having four at halftime to producing 18 points after the break.

The Celtics also got terrific performances from Al Horford and Derrick White, helping them earn a 93-80 win that improves their playoff road record to 6-2.

Now, for a deep dive into Game 5.

Heat Score Eight Points Off Turnovers in Low-Scoring First Frame

P.J. Tucker grabbed offensive rebounds on Miami's first two possessions, but the Heat couldn't capitalize either time.

And after a Jimmy Butler layup rolled out, Robert Williams scored the game's first points, getting a bucket at the rim. Marcus Smart then lobbed to Williams for another basket at the cup.

Butler put Miami on the board by up-faking Smart and driving baseline for a layup. Jayson Tatum, who was grabbing his shoulder early but stayed in the game, then earned a trip to the free-throw line, where he went 1/2 to make it 5-2.

At the 8:09 mark, Smart fouled Kyle Lowry, his second personal, resulting in Derrick White subbing in for him.

White made it 7-2 with a floater from deep in the paint. But Bam Adebayo countered, muscling his way to two points at the basket. He then threw down an emphatic two-handed put-back jam to make it 7-6.

Boston made it 9-6 with beautiful ball movement in transition, as it went from Tatum to Jaylen Brown to White, who lobbed an alley-oop to Al Horford, who laid the ball in off the glass.

On the Celtics' next possession, again attacking in transition, Tatum swung the ball to White, who got into the paint with no resistance, then stepped through for a floater, extending the visitors' lead to 11-6.

The Heat made it 11-10, courtesy of buckets by Tucker and Vincent, but Brown pushed Boston's advantage to 14-10, swishing an open three from the right wing.

After a Butler three from above the break, Victor Oladipo challenged Grant Williams off the dribble, went into his chest, and finished a tough layup in traffic to give Miami its first lead, 15-14.

With 1:24 remaining in the period, Vincent drove, pulling Horford towards him, opening the lob to Adebayo. That made it 17-15 Heat.

Vincent then drilled a pull-up jumper above the left elbow to make it 19-17 in favor of the hosts. That's where the score stood going into the second frame.

At the end of a quarter where neither team scored 20 points, Miami had scored eight points off six Celtics turnovers and got four more off five offensive rebounds.

Heat Lead This Rock Fight at Halftime

Caleb Martin sparked the second quarter scoring with a terrific hustle play from one vantage point and an unacceptable breakdown by Boston. Martin missed an above-the-break three, but no one boxed him out, and he sprinted in for his rebound and laid it in. That gave the home team a 21-17 lead.

At the 8:06 mark, Tatum made his first field goal, swishing a three off the catch at the right wing. That made it 24-20 Miami.

Nearly a minute later, Boston almost came up with a steal as Grant Williams knocked the ball out of Adebayo's hands as he faced up in the low post, but he got it back, eventually leading to a Martin three from the right corner. That extended Miami's advantage to 27-22.

With 6:34 remaining, Brown had an open path to the basket, but Butler recovered and swiped the ball from him. It was already his fourth turnover of the game.

With 6:08 to play, Tatum delivered an on-target bounce pass to White as he rolled to the rim after screening for the former, and White turned for two points at the basket. He also got fouled and capitalized on the free throw to make it 29-25 Heat.

With 4:20 on the clock, Tatum drove from the left side, threw a cross-court pass to Brown, and the latter swished a three at the right wing. But Miami matched it as Butler found Tucker for a three to push the hosts lead to 34-30.

Then, Duncan Robinson attacked off the dribble for a bank shot from just outside the restricted area to make it 36-30. Robinson was only 1/4 from beyond the arc, but he stayed active offensively, and brought energy off the bench while the zone made him less of a liability defensively.

With 1:20 left, Tatum drove and found Horford for an open three from the right corner to cut the Celtics' deficit to 38-35.

But the following four points belonged to the Heat as Adebayo tipped in a Max Strus layup, and Lowry missed a three, but Tucker crashed the boards, earning a put-back that made it 42-35.

Horford answered with a floater out of a pick-and-roll between him and White. That brought the score to 42-37, entering halftime.

Both teams shot below 40 percent from the field and 25 percent or worse from beyond the arc. But while the Celtics took nine free throws, making seven of them, the Heat converted nine offensive rebounds into 16 points and ten Boston turnovers into 12 points. They also produced 26 points in the paint.

Offensively, the Celtics struggled finding a rhythm against Miami's zone defense. Horford, who had ten points, was the only starter in double figures. Tatum went scoreless in the first frame. They need to attack quicker, be more protective of the ball, and there needs to be greater off-ball activity.

To end on a positive before the third quarter starts, White had a game-high 11 points at the break. He was aggressive, decisive, and was one of Boston's most impactful players in the first half.

Heat Lead This Rock Fight at Halftime

Caleb Martin sparked the second quarter scoring with a terrific hustle play from one vantage point and an unacceptable breakdown by Boston. Martin missed an above-the-break three, but no one boxed him out, and he sprinted in for his rebound and laid it in. That gave the home team a 21-17 lead.

At the 8:06 mark, Tatum made his first field goal, swishing a three off the catch at the right wing. That made it 24-20 Miami.

Nearly a minute later, Boston almost came up with a steal as Grant Williams knocked the ball out of Adebayo's hands as he faced up in the low post, but he got it back, eventually leading to a Martin three from the right corner. That extended Miami's advantage to 27-22.

With 6:34 remaining, Brown had an open path to the basket, but Butler recovered and swiped the ball from him. It was already his fourth turnover of the game.

With 6:08 to play, Tatum delivered an on-target bounce pass to White as he rolled to the rim after screening for the former, and White turned for two points at the basket. He also got fouled and capitalized on the free throw to make it 29-25 Heat.

With 4:20 on the clock, Tatum drove from the left side, threw a cross-court pass to Brown, and the latter swished a three at the right wing. But Miami matched it as Butler found Tucker for a three to push the hosts lead to 34-30.

Then, Duncan Robinson attacked off the dribble for a bank shot from just outside the restricted area to make it 36-30. Robinson was only 1/4 from beyond the arc, but he stayed active offensively, and brought energy off the bench while the zone made him less of a liability defensively.

With 1:20 left, Tatum drove and found Horford for an open three from the right corner to cut the Celtics' deficit to 38-35.

But the following four points belonged to the Heat as Adebayo tipped in a Max Strus layup, and Lowry missed a three, but Tucker crashed the boards, earning a put-back that made it 42-35.

Horford answered with a floater out of a pick-and-roll between him and White. That brought the score to 42-37, entering halftime.

Both teams shot below 40 percent from the field and 25 percent or worse from beyond the arc. But while the Celtics took nine free throws, making seven of them, the Heat converted nine offensive rebounds into 16 points and ten Boston turnovers into 12 points. They also produced 26 points in the paint.

Offensively, the Celtics struggled finding a rhythm against Miami's zone defense. Horford, who had ten points, was the only starter in double figures. Tatum went scoreless in the first frame. They need to attack quicker, be more protective of the ball, and there needs to be greater off-ball activity.

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To end on a positive before the third quarter starts, White had a game-high 11 points at the break. He was aggressive, decisive, and was one of Boston's most impactful players in the first half.

Celtics Outscore Miami 32-16; Outplay Heat at Both Ends in Third Quarter

Horford ignited the third-quarter scoring, catching a diagonal entry pass from Smart and finishing off the glass. That made it 42-39.

Brown then attacked in transition, going at Lowry for a layup plus a blocking foul. Brown's free throw went in and out, though.

Tatum then swished a pull-up jumper after quickly getting the ball from Horford. That gave Boston a 43-42 advantage.

Grant Williams, who was starting the frame in place of Robert Williams, followed that up with a push shot off the dribble. The Timelord didn't come out for the start of the second half, but came to the bench a few minutes later.

At the 8:45 mark, Smart stepped in late to draw a charge on Strus, picking up his fourth foul. He asked to stay in the game, and Ime Udoka decided to trust him.

With 8:07 to play, Horford grabbed a long defensive rebound, attacked 1-3 in transition, and produced a layup plus the foul. An animated Horford swaggered towards the bench, who loved every second of what they were seeing from the usually reserved veteran. He then added the extra point to make it 48-46 Boston.

While Horford was at the line, Strus headed to the locker room. He appeared to injure himself when he landed after Smart tried to draw a charge against him.

With 6:53 remaining, Butler registered the Heat's first field goal of the frame, charging to the rim for two points at the cup to bring the score to 49-48. Smart answered, though, as Tatum drove the right baseline and found him for a three in the left corner as the shot clock expired. Robinson matched it at the other end to make it 52-51 Celtics.

After Miami couldn't capitalize on several opportunities, Robert Williams went over Duncan Robinson to grab a missed three from Tatum, earning a trip to the line. Williams made both shots to give Boston a 57-51 advantage.

Tatum then buried a fadeaway jumper from above the foul line. But Gabe Vincent countered with his second-straight jumper to make it 59-55 visitors.

With about 2:30 left in the quarter, Brown drove the right baseline and found Grant Williams for a three from the left corner to give the Celtics a 62-58 advantage. 

Brown then swished a step-back jumper at the right elbow, giving Boston a 64-58 lead.

And after Oladipo tried to attack Robert Williams out of the right corner, only to get his shot obliterated by the Timelord, Tatum finished in traffic in transition to push the advantage to 67-58.

Brown then closed the quarter by giving the Celtics the first double-digit lead for either team, driving left-to-right, dribbling between his legs, turning and elevating for a mid-range jumper that touched nothing but the net. That made it 69-58 Boston, entering the final frame.

Celtics Run Through the Tape

Brown opened the fourth quarter scoring, catching a cross-court pass from Horford and knocking down a three at the left wing to give the Celtics a 72-58 advantage.

Tatum then swished a three in the left corner, giving up the ball, relocating, and getting it back for the bucket from beyond the arc. 

He followed that up by attacking Strus for two points from the middle of the paint. With Boston on an 18-2 run dating back to the third frame, the visitors now had a 77-60 lead.

With 8:58 to go, Brown buried a three from the right corner to push the Celtics' advantage to 80-60.

He followed that up by swishing a three from 29-feet out shortly before the shot clock expired. That extended Boston's run to 24-2 and its lead to 83-60. At that point, its fans in the building made their presence felt with loud "let's go, Celtics!" cheers.

Adebayo produced the game's following four points, making it 83-66 with 7:10 to play. But Tatum answered, drilling a baseline jumper to push the lead to 85-66.

White then helped force a stop in transition, Robert Williams swallowed an Adebayo kick-out pass, and at the other end, against a set defense, White attacked from above the break, getting deep into the paint for two points to make it 87-68.

Then, after a Duncan Robinson three, Brown charged downhill, coming off a Horford screen and exploding to the rim for a thunderous one-handed jam. That gave the Celtics an 89-71 lead.

An open Vincent three on a second-chance opportunity cut Boston's cushion to 89-76 with 4:18 on the clock.

With 1:32 left and fans heading for the exits, Brown split a Butler and Vincent double team, spun by Adebayo, and produced two points in the paint. That gave the Celtics a 93-76 advantage, prompting Erik Spoelstra to take a timeout to empty Miami's bench.

At that point, Boston had outscored the Heat 56-34 in the second half. The Celtics played aggressively, decisively, and were far more active offensively. It led to far better shooting than in the first two quarters.

As a team, Boston shot 54.1 percent from the field in the second half, assisting on 13/20 field goals. The Celtics also took 14 free throws, capitalizing on ten of them. For the game, they went 17/23 at the line.

They also took much better care of the ball, going from coughing the ball up ten times in the first half to five in the second. As a result, the Heat went from producing 12 points off turnovers to getting only five in the second half.

Brown led all scorers with 25 points. He stopped forcing the issue in the second half, being quicker to shoot, and it led to going from having six points at the break to 19 in the final two frames.

Tatum went from scoring four points in the first half to finishing the game with 22 points. He also grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out nine assists.

Horford was terrific in this game, serving as a steadying presence in the first two quarters, then helping Boston run away with the game in the second half. He registered 16 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and two blocks.

Derrick White also deserves a shoutout. Game 4 was one of his best as a Celtic. He followed up with another aggressive showing, providing excellent defense and looking comfortable while staying in attack mode offensively. He contributed 14 points, five assists, and he played 29 minutes, running the point for most of the second half, allowing Smart to rest his ankle.

Defensively, Boston was outstanding in the second half. The Celtics' length and physicality wore on Miami as the game went on, and with the Heat missing shots early in the second half, they grew discouraged, and their struggles snowballed.

They shot 26.1 percent from the field in the second half, including 3/24 (12.5 percent) from beyond the arc. For the game, Miami wasn't much better. The Heat shot 31.9 percent from the floor and went 7/45 (15.6 percent) on threes.

They also went from generating 16 second-chance points in the first half to only eight in the final two quarters of Game 5.

As a result of their two-way dominance in the second half, the Celtics have a chance, on their home parquet, to punch their ticket to the NBA Finals.

Up Next

Game 6 of this Eastern Conference Finals series between the Celtics and Heat is Friday night at 8:30 ET. Inside The Celtics will have content related to the game coming out before, during, and after. And follow @BobbyKrivitsky on Twitter for updates and analysis from pregame to post.

Further Reading

Jayson Tatum Points to Winning, Growth as a Playmaker for All-NBA First Team Selection

Celtics Know Winning Game 5 Starts with Staying Urgent: 'We shouldn't have to get punched in the mouth to respond'

The Top 5 Plays from Game 4 Between the Celtics and Heat

What Stood Out from Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals: In a Must-Win Game, Celtics Deliver

Celtics Discuss Not Matching Heat's Urgency, Physicality in Game 3: 'If we want to win this series, we have to match that physicality'

What Stood Out from Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals: Heat Play with More Urgency, Celtics Commit 24 Turnovers in Loss