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.

Jimmy Butler, number 22 of the Miami Heat, looks on during Game five of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics on May 25, 2023 at TD Garden in Boston. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

However, the Celtics are at least forcing heat think about the possibility of making infamous history.


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.

Jimmy Butler plays the Celtics in Game 5

Jimmy Butler, #22 of the Miami Heat, looks on against the Boston Celtics during the third quarter of game five of the Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 25, 2023 in Boston. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

«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.»


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.

Joe Mazzulla calls time out

Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla calls his players during the first half of Game 2 in the NBA Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Wednesday, May 3, 2023. , in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Miami is trying to become the second seed out of eight to reach the NBA Finals since 1984, when the current format was adopted.


«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

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