The Miami Heat had a stranglehold on the Eastern Conference Finalswith a 3-0 series lead over the Boston Celtics three days ago.
In NBA history, no team has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit to win a playoff serieswith teams going 0-150 when faced with the daunting task.
However, the Celtics are at least forcing heat think about the possibility of making infamous history.
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Boston forced a Game 6 in the Eastern Conference Finals, winning Game 5 Thursday in Boston, 110-97.
While the next day’s conversation will be about the Celtics trying to replicate the 2004 Boston Red Sox, Miami star Jimmy Butler he is confident that he will make his second appearance in the NBA Finals.
«We just have to play better. Start games better with the starters,» Butler told reporters in his postgame media availability. «Make it harder for them. They’re in rhythm from the start of the game.
«But we’ll always stay positive knowing that we can and will win this series. And we’ll just have to close it out at home.»
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The Celtics got off to a fast start in Game 5, forcing six turnovers and jumping out to a 15-point lead after the first quarter.
Boston forced 16 turnovers on the night, cutting the series lead to 3-2 and advancing to 4-0 during the NBA Playoffs 2023 when facing elimination.
«It just says our backs are against the wall, and we stick together, and we’re competing at a high level to give ourselves a chance,» Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said.
Miami is trying to become the second seed out of eight to reach the NBA Finals since 1984, when the current format was adopted.
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«One game doesn’t lead to the next game,» Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. «It just doesn’t matter. It’s all about collectively preparing and putting together a great game. We’ll play much better on Saturday. That’s all we have to focus on now.»
Boston connected on at least 40% of their 3-point attempts for the second straight game, knocking down 16 of 39 shots from beyond the arc.
Game 6 is Saturday night in Miami.
Associated Press contributed to this story