Celtics-Heat takeaways: C's cruise to East semifinals with blowout win

Celtics-Heat takeaways: C's cruise to East semifinals with blowout win originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics punched their ticket to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a lopsided Game 5 win over the Miami Heat.

Wednesday's showdown marked another wire-to-wire victory for the C's, who trailed for just one minute in the first-round series outside of their Game 2 loss. They matched a playoff franchise record with 41 first-quarter points and rode that hot start to a 118-84 rout.

The Celtics' emphatic win came despite Kristaps Porzingis being out due to a calf injury suffered in Game 4. They'll likely have to find success without their big man in the next round as he's expected to be sidelined at least until the Eastern Conference Finals.

Boston's offense continued to fire on all cylinders without Porzingis, shooting 16-of-40 (40 percent) from 3-point range compared to Miami's 3-for-29 (10.3 percent). Derrick White followed his career-high 38-point Game 4 with 25 points, including 15 in the first quarter. Jaylen Brown also finished with 25 points while Sam Hauser and Jayson Tatum added 17 and 16 points, respectively.

The Celtics will meet the winner of the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Orlando Magic series in the East semifinals. Cleveland has a 3-2 series lead over Orlando heading into Friday's Game 6.

Before we look ahead to the next round, here are three takeaways from the C's first-round clincher.

Boston's bigs step up in Porzingis' absence

Al Horford will take over as the Celtics' primary big man for as long as Porzingis is out. The veteran, who turns 38 next month, is unsurprisingly up for the task.

Horford started in Porzingis' place and was his usual reliable self, contributing eight points (3-4 FG) with six rebounds, three assists, and a steal in 23 minutes.

Luke Kornet was the first big off the bench, and the 7-footer took advantage of his opportunity. He was a +20 in 10 minutes during the first half while playing rock-solid defense on Adebayo. He finished with just two points but was a force on the other end, adding seven rebounds and a block.

Backup center Xavier Tillman checked in midway through the fourth quarter and tallied two points, one rebound, one steal, and a block in seven minutes.

The Celtics will need Horford and Kornet to carry their momentum into the East semifinals, where Porzingis is expected to be out for most if not all of the second-round series. If Wednesday's showing was any indication of what to expect vs. Orlando or Cleveland, Boston should be just fine.

No help for Bam Adebayo

Already missing Jimmy Butler and Terry Rozier for the series due to injury, the Heat were without rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. in their do-or-die Game 5. That proved to be the nail in the coffin as Miami's entire supporting cast was virtually nonexistent for most of the night.

Heat All-Star Bam Adebayo did his part with 23 points, with 21 coming in the first half. However, even he was inefficient with only 10 makes on 26 attempts. The burden of carrying Miami's offense was on his shoulders as he played the first 36 minutes of the game before finally sitting in the fourth quarter.

Tyler Herro didn't help the cause. He struggled mightily throughout the first half (3-12 FG, 1-7 3-PT) and it didn't get much better for him the rest of the way as he ended with 15 points on 6-of-19 shooting. Miami shot 41.4 percent from the floor and just 3-of-29 from beyond the arc.

Adebayo didn't get much help in the rebounding department either. Nikola Jovic was the only other Heat player to total at least five boards. Miami was outrebounded by Boston, 48-27.

A final farewell to Mike Gorman

Wednesday marked the great Mike Gorman’s final game as the voice of the Boston Celtics. The legendary broadcaster is calling it a career after 43 years of excellence.

Gorman refused to go out quietly. After Tyler Herro was hit with a technical foul in the first quarter, Gorman took a hilarious shot at the Miami guard.

"A technical foul called on Herro, who threw the ball at (Payton) Pritchard because he didn't like the fact that Pritchard plays harder than he does at the moment," he said.

And here was Gorman's final iconic "Got it!" call of his illustrious career:

The Celtics thanked Gorman in the final minute of the game with a message on the jumbotron that was met with loud cheers and a standing ovation from the TD Garden crowd:

Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla made his way over to Gorman in the game's final moments and shook his hand:

Before the final buzzer, Gorman signed off with one last message for C’s fans.

"I don't know what to say, really. For the past 45 years, it's been an honor and my distinct pleasure to have been the voice of the Boston Celtics. I'll be forever grateful to this ownership for treating my family as they treat their own, and special thanks to all who welcomed Tommy (Heinsohn), Scal (Brian Scalabrine) and me into your homes all winter long. When it was a cold night outside, you turned us on, and it just couldn't have been better. There's no place I would rather have been. So Boston, thank you. Goodnight."

NBC Sports Boston and the Celtics honored Gorman with “Mike Gorman Day” at TD Garden on April 14. The C’s shared an emotional tribute video for their longtime play-by-play commentator and honored his four-plus decades of work with a halftime ceremony. Gorman topped off the occasion with a message for the Celtics.

“Go win this thing, will you please?”

The Celtics will continue their road to Banner 18 against either Orlando or Cleveland in the Eastern Conference semifinals. One thing is certain: The rest of the journey won't feel the same without Gorman on the call.