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NBA Game Notes (May 25, 2023)
Here are the NBA game notes for games that were played on May 25, 2023.
Celtics Cruise, Force Game 6
The Boston Celtics built a 15-point first-quarter lead, then cruised to a 110-97 win over the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The teams will head back to Miami for Game 6 on Saturday, with the Heat still just one win away from their seventh NBA Finals appearance.
The Celtics became just the second team in NBA Conference Finals history to force a Game 6 after losing the first three games of the series. They join the 2010 Orlando Magic, who were down 3-0 to the Celtics before eventually succumbing in six games.
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Four Celtics recorded a 20-point game, with all four players shooting at least 50% from the field:
24 — Derrick White (8-11 FG)
23 — Marcus Smart (7-12 FG)
21 — Jayson Tatum (8-16 FG)
21 — Jaylen Brown (9-18 FG)
The last team to feature four such players in an NBA Conference Finals game was the Detroit Pistons on May 24, 1987 (Adrian Dantley, Vinnie Johnson, Isiah Thomas, and Bill Laimbeer).
The last time the Celtics had four players score at least 20 points on 50% shooting from the field in any playoff game was June 11, 1987 in the NBA Finals (Dennis Johnson, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, and Danny Ainge).
No one on the Heat recorded a 20-point game. This was just the fifth playoff game in NBA history in which one team had four 20-point scorers and the other team had zero:
Baltimore Bullets vs. St. Louis Hawks (March 27, 1965)
Detroit Pistons vs. Boston Celtics (May 24, 1987)
Washington Wizards vs. Chicago Bulls (April 30, 2005)
Golden State Warriors vs. Denver Nuggets (April 23, 2013)
Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat (May 25, 2023)
The Celtics’ starters outscored their Heat counterparts by 51 points (95-44), the third-largest such margin in a conference finals game in NBA history:
55 — Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat (May 23, 2022)
54 — Baltimore Bullets vs. New York Knicks (April 11, 1971)
51 — Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat (May 25, 2023)
49 — Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics (May 19, 2017)
Celtics center Al Horford hauled in a game-high 11 rebounds, Tatum dished out a game-high 11 assists, and Smart recorded a playoff career-high five steals. Since the NBA began tracking individual turnovers in 1977-78, Horford is the only player to record at least 10 rebounds and five assists in a conference finals game without committing a turnover or personal foul.
The Heat’s Duncan Robinson scored a team-high 18 points in the loss, shooting 7-10 from the field. Robinson also handed out a team-high nine assists, the most he’s recorded in any game in his career, regular season or postseason.