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The Boston Celtics are halfway to accomplishing something unprecedented in the postseason history of the National Basketball Association.

Thursday night in Boston, the Celtics defeated the Miami Heat 110-97 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. After losing the first three games of the best-of-seven series, the Celtics have won the last two games in dominant fashion to force Saturday night’s game in Miami.

Boston hopes to become the first team in NBA history to win a postseason series after falling behind 3-0. There have been 150 teams in a similar situation, but none have managed to win the series. The Celtics became the 15th of these 150 teams to win two games and force a Game 6 in the series.

Boston wins to force Game 6.

The Celtics dominated the game from start to finish, buoyed by a boisterous home crowd at the TD Garden Arena; and it was Jayson Tatum, a native of St. Louis, who started them going with 12 points in the first quarter to give the Celtics a 35-20 lead. Tatum completed the game with 21 points, eight rebounds, and 11 assists on eight of sixteen field goal attempts.

Tatum was one of four Celtics in the contest to tally at least 20 points. Derrick White led the team in scoring with 24 points, including six of eight 3-pointers. Marcus Smart tallied 23 points on four 3-pointers, while Jaylen Brown contributed 21 points.

For the second game in a row, the Celtics shot at least 40 percent from beyond the arc. They made 16 of 39 from long range for a 41 percent success rate.

Miami was led by guard Duncan Robinson, who scored 18 points and dished out nine assists off the bench. Jimmy Butler tallied 14 points while Bam Adebayo scored 16.

On Saturday evening, at 7:30 p.m. (St. Louis time), Miami will have a third opportunity to close out the series at home. This contest will be broadcast on TNT. If the Celtics prevail, the series will return to Boston for a seventh and deciding game next Monday night.

By Sanjh

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