The Miami Heat couldn't pull off the sweep against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals, so we're headed for a Game 5 on Thursday night. The Celtics managed pull away late in Game 4 thanks to some efficient shooting from deep, and they'll need to replicate that success if they want to extend this series any further.
Ahead of the action, here's all you need to know for Game 5:
(2) Boston Celtics vs. (8) Miami Heat
- Date: Thursday, May 25 | Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
- Location: TD Garden -- Boston, Massachusettes
- TV channel: TNT | Live stream: TNT app
- Odds: Celtics -8; O/U 215.5 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Celtics: Boston avoided total embarrassment by winning Game 4, escaping the sweep and staying alive for a few more days. Now they have a chance to extend this series a bit further, but it's still an uphill battle for the C's. Game 4 was a significant improvement from the blowout they suffered in Game 3, as all five starters scored in double figures, and they'll need to bottle that performance as this series heads back to Boston. Jaylen Brown put together his first solid performance of the series, yet he still only finished with 17 points. Boston is still going to need more from him if they want to see a Game 6, otherwise the season could be over Thursday night.
Heat: The Heat still have a major advantage in this series, and after the Nuggets pulled off the sweep against the Lakers, you have to think that Miami wants to end this series as quick as possible to get some time off. But the Celtics showed Tuesday night that they're not just going to roll over, so the Heat have to hope they get a better scoring performance out of Bam Adebayo and Max Strus, who combined for just 19 points. The team also struggled to connect on 3s, a surprising turn after they had been red hot all series long.
Miami didn't pull off the sweep, so I'm picking them to pull off the gentleman's sweep in Game 5. The Celtics punched back in Game 4, but I expect Butler and the rest of the Miami team to come out motivated to end this series and get a week off before the start of the NBA Finals. Pick: Heat +8