In fairness to the C's, they did play an awesome second half and outscored the Heat 70-50 en route to a 121-108 win.
Celtics guard Kemba Walker is hoping his team brings that same energy shown in the third and fourth quarters of Game 5 right from the get-go in Sunday night's must-win Game 6.
Kemba on @celtics replicating G5 performance tonight: “It’s Game 6. We just have to want to do it. We have to want to get this to a Game 7. In order for us to do that, we’re gonna have to repeat what we did in that second half (of Game 5), but we’ve got to do it from the jump.”— Marc D'Amico (@Marc_DAmico) September 27, 2020
Walker has yet to have a breakout game in the conference finals. He's averaging a solid 19.6 points per game for the series, and his highest scoring output was 23 points in a Game 2 loss. A huge game from Walker would not only go a long way toward the C's having a strong chance to force a Game 7, it also would lessen the pressure on Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to match their scoring rate (59 points combined) from Game 5.
The veteran point guard also was asked Sunday about the Los Angeles Lakers winning the Western Conference title and clinching a spot in the 2020 NBA Finals on Saturday night. Walker, as you would expect, is not looking ahead.
Asked Kemba this AM what went thru his head watching Lakers celebrate last night, while he/C’s are so close to doing so themselves: “Nothing, tbh. It’s not us, so it really doesn’t matter at this point. We’re trying to get there. We’re just trying to take it one game at a time.”— Marc D'Amico (@Marc_DAmico) September 27, 2020
A Celtics vs. Lakers matchup in the NBA Finals would be great for the league, and it hasn't happened since 2010. But the Celtics still have a lot of work to do before they can get excited for a historic championship matchup.
The Celtics are trailing the East Finals 3-2 and need two more consecutive wins to eliminate the Heat, who have shown throughout the season they will not go down without a strong fight.
One of the reasons why the Celtics won Game 5 was they turned the ball over eight fewer times compared to Game 4, and Walker only had one turnover. Boston will need to handle the ball with the same care Sunday night to force a decisive Game 7.