NBA playoffs: Celtics cruise to blowout win over Heat in Game 5 to reach Eastern Conference semifinals

The Celtics will now take on either the Magic or Cavaliers in the next round of the playoffs

Ever since falling in Game 2, the Boston Celtics have seemed unstoppable.

The Celtics cruised to a third straight blowout win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night to close out their opening-round playoff series at TD Garden. The Celtics, after nearly grabbing a 20-point lead after the first quarter, rolled to a 118-84 win in Game 5 of their series with the Heat.

That punched Boston’s ticket into the Eastern Conference semifinals for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.

The Celtics took off immediately Wednesday, and essentially ended the game after the first 12 minutes. They hit eight 3-pointers in the first period and shot 14 of 21 from the field to grab an 18-point lead at the first break. Derrick White had 15 of his 25 points in the first quarter.

The Celtics opened the second quarter on a 14-2 burst, capped by a huge Jaylen Brown 3-pointer, to take a 30-point lead. Though the Heat bounced back a little bit before halftime, they still entered the locker room down by 22 points.

By then, the game was over. The Celtics pushed their lead back to 30 points in the third quarter and then simply held on to grab the 34-point win. The Celtics won all four games in this series by double digits, and won by an average of 22 points per contest.

Bam Adebayo led the Heat with 23 points, all but two of which he scored in the first half. He had six assists and five rebounds, too. Tyler Herro added 15 points and shot just 1 of 8 from behind the arc. Caleb Martin finished with 10 points, and was the only other Heat player to hit double figures.

Brown finished with 25 points and six rebounds, and White had six rebounds to go with his 25 points. Jayson Tatum finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds. They shot nearly 55% from the field as a team, and out-rebounded the Heat 56-29.

The Celtics are now the first team in the Eastern Conference to make it out of the opening round of the playoffs. They await the winner of the Cleveland Cavaliers-Orlando Magic series. The Cavaliers hold a 3-2 series lead there headed into Friday's Game 6.

Though the Celtics are safely into the next round, Kristaps Porzingis isn’t coming back anytime soon.

The Celtics center, who sustained a calf strain after making an awkward move in their Game 4 win on Monday, isn’t expected to be available until at least the Eastern Conference finals, according to TNT’s Chris Haynes.

That means that, after their win Wednesday, the Celtics will have to at least make it out of the semifinals past either the Cavaliers or Magic without him. Even then, there’s no guarantee that Porzingis will be available for the start of the conference finals.

Kristaps Porzingis headshot
Kristaps Porzingis
PF - BOS - #8
2023 - 2024 season

Porzingis has averaged 20.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game this season with the Celtics. He’s averaged 12.3 points and five rebounds so far in their opening-round playoff series, and he put up 18 points in both of their wins in Game 1 and Game 3.