Once again, the Celtics must get a win tonight to keep their season alive.
Boston managed to stave off elimination and avoid a sweep by defeating the Heat in Game 4 on Tuesday night. It moved them one step closer to their goal of becoming the first team in NBA history to come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a series.
Jayson Tatum’s second half outburst helped the Celtics fight back from a nine-point deficit in the third quarter to get the all-important victory. He finished with 33 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds while his teammates Jaylen Brown and Derrick White pitched in with 17 and 16 points, respectively.
“We can’t relax,” Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said after the game. “We have to keep the same level of intensity, the same mindset, the same focus in the next game.”
Things have now shifted back to Boston, where Miami won Games 1 and 2 early in the series to take control. If the Heat manage to earn another road win tonight, it will punch their ticket to the NBA Finals for the second time in three years.
The Sporting News is tracking live scoring updates and highlights from Game 5 of Celtics vs. Heat. Follow along with all of the action right here.
MORE: Why Celtics’ struggles at home stand in the way of series comeback
Celtics vs. Heat score
Celtics vs. Heat live score, updates, highlights from Game 5
(All times Eastern.)
9:29 p.m. END OF FIRST HALF — The first half fittingly ends with a Heat turnover. They have ten turnovers thus far compared to just five for the Celtics. Boston has also taken more than twice as many three-point shots (25) as Miami has (11). The home team leads it 61-44 heading into halftime.
9:20 p.m. — Butler gets a nice steal in transition and slams it home through contact for an and-one opportunity. He’s been fairly quiet so far tonight with just seven points. After he converts the free throw, the heat trail the Celtics 53-41 as the first half winds down.
9:17 p.m. — Miami is starting to cut into this lead just a little. Robinson continues to fill it up, and his back-to-back buckets have closed the gap to 11 points. About a minute later, Caleb Martin looks to have suffered an injury to his knee after an awkward landing, but he will stay in the game. That”s good news for Heat fans, as that one looked bad initially.
9:09 p.m. — Al Horford throws down a putback slam to get the crowd back on its feet, but Duncan Robinson answers at the other end with a three. The Heat aren’t shooting badly right now, they’re just getting hit with a barrage of Celtics offense. Boston leads 47-32 with seven and a half minutes left in the first half.
9:04 p.m. — The second quarter has begun, and the Celtics are not slowing down. Brown hits a three to stretch their lead to 18 points, and the Celtics are now 8 of 15 (53.3 percent) from beyond the arc.
8:59 p.m. END OF FIRST QUARTER — White ends the opening period with a bang! He drills a triple at the buzzer to give the Celtics a 35-20 lead after one! Boston has come flying out of the gate here. Can Miami recover?
8:50 p.m. — Jayson Tatum is on fire. His thunderous slam makes it 28-13 in favor of Boston, and it forces Miami coach Erik Spoelstra to take a timeout. This could be a long night for the Heat at this rate.
8:45 p.m. — The Celtics are NOT messing around tonight. They seemingly can’t miss from deep right now, and another pair of threes from Tatum and Derrick White has stretched the lead to a whopping 16 points here in the opening quarter. Boston is simply blowing Miami away right now.
8:41 p.m. — What a start for Boston! TD Garden erupts as Jaylen Brown hits a three, then Marcus Smart hits back-to-back triples of his own to cap off an 11-1 Celtics run! They now lead 15-5 about five minutes into this game.
8:38 p.m. START OF FIRST QUARTER — We are underway, and Tatum is off to a hot start after slamming home a dunk for his second bucket of the game. But he wanted a foul call on the drive, and his protests to the official earn him an early technical foul. A bit unfortunate there, but the Celtics’ intensity is apparent already. They lead 6-4 early.
8:30 p.m. — For the second game in a row, the Celtics’ task is simple. Win and stay alive, lose and go home. Can they get it done again?
8:18 p.m. — Boston’s Jaylen Brown shares a heartwarming moment with his grandfather before tip-off. Win or lose, he’ll be proud of his grandson.
8:10 p.m. — With Gabe Vincent ruled out for the Heat tonight due to a sprained ankle, veteran guard and six-time All-Star Kyle Lowry will take his place in the starting lineup. Not the worst backup plan.
7:54 p.m. — This series’ two superstars, Butler and Tatum, arrive at TD Garden.
7:45 p.m. — A familiar face returns to the floor for Miami. Tyler Herro, who suffered a broken hand in the Heat’s very first playoff game this season against Milwaukee, is out there putting up shots. He’s still unlikely to return this postseason, but it’s definitely encouraging to see him back on the hardwood.
What channel is Celtics vs. Heat on?
Date: Thursday, May 25
TV channel: TNT
Live streaming: Sling TV
Celtics vs. Heat will air on TNT. Viewers can also stream the game on Sling TV.
Fans in the U.S. can watch the NBA Playoffs on Sling TV, which is now offering $10 off your first month! Stream the sports you love starting at just $30 in your first month with Sling Orange to catch all the games on TNT, ESPN & ABC.
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What time is Celtics vs. Heat tonight?
Date: Thursday, May 25
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET | 5:30 p.m. PT
Celtics vs. Heat will tip off around 8:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 25. The game will be played at the TD Garden in Boston.
Celtics vs. Heat odds
Boston is a 7.5-point favorite heading into Game 5.
For the full market, check out BetMGM.
Celtics vs. Heat schedule
Here is the complete schedule for the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals:
Heat 123, Celtics 116
Heat 111, Celtics 105
Heat 128, Celtics 102
Celtics 116, Heat 99