Despite winning Game 4 on the road against the Miami Heat, everyone was still counting the Boston Celtics out in the Eastern Conference Finals as they returned home for Game 5. No team in league history has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit in the NBA Playoffs, but after winning their first game of the series, Boston took another in front of their home faithful on Thursday night.
The Celtics defeated the Heat 110-97 in Game 5 and they have now taken the last two games of the series. Miami still leads 3-2 and they remain in the driver’s seat, but Boston is staying strong and All-Star wing Jaylen Brown continues to have all the confidence in himself and his teammates.
“Our back has been against the wall. Obviously we didn’t imagine being in this position down 3-0, but when adversity hits, you get to see what a team is really made of,” Brown said after the game, via NBC Sports Boston. “It couldn’t get no worse than being down 3-0, but we didn’t look around. We didn’t go in separate directions. We stayed together, we double downed on what we are good at on defense and I think now it is a series, so we just got to take it one game at a time and keep playing.”
Jaylen Brown: “When adversity hits, you get to see what a team is really made of… we stayed together” pic.twitter.com/aNtFpzxyXU
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) May 26, 2023
Brown finished Game 5 with 21 points on 9-18 shooting, including three made threes, the most threes he has made in a game this series. In fact, prior to Thursday night’s game, Brown had shot 12 percent from three-point range in the series making a total of just three three-pointers through four games!
The Celtics’ All-Star was one of four players on Boston to finish with at least 21 points, as Jayson Tatum (21), Marcus Smart (23) and Derrick White (24) all had big performances on the offensive-end of the floor.
“Just being together in moments of adversity, you know staying on the same page and sticking with it,” Brown went on to say. “Doubling down on things we need to do better, holding each other accountable has been the key. I think once we got ourselves together, we all looked each other in the eyes and said, ‘Hey, we aren’t going out like this.’ We represent the organization, but we also represent our selves and our family.
“Obviously we haven’t performed the way we felt like we needed to perform so that Game 4 was the start of the atonement and now we’ve been able to pick up off that in Game 5 and hopefully we will be able to carry that on to Game 6.”
Still facing elimination, the Celtics will head back to South Beach where they have won four of their last five playoff games against the Heat dating back to last season’s Eastern Conference Finals series. All the pressure is still on Boston to win this game and avoid their season coming to an end, but a sense of urgency definitely has to be setting in for the Heat after failing to close out this series in back-to-back games.
Game 6 between the Celtics and the Heat in Miami will take place on Saturday, April 27 at 8:30 p.m. ET. on TNT.