The Miami Heat do not have to hit the panic button.
The Boston Celtics remain alive with more breathing room.
Celtics, led by Derrick White with 24 points, including six 3-pointers, dominated the Miami Heat 110-97 on Thursday night in Game 5 to extend the Eastern Conference finals.
Boston also survived two elimination games in the second round against the 76ers. Teams that fell behind 3-0 are 0-150 all-time in series.
Heat was outscored 13-0 in second-half points in the opening 24 minutes.
“We have to play better, start the game better,” Jimmy Butler said. “Make it difficult for them. We are always going to remain positive.”
Game 6 is Saturday in Miami, where the Heat will try again to become the second No. 8 seed to reach the NBA Finals in the current format, which dates to 1984.
Duncan Robinson led the Heat with 18 points. Bam Adebayo added 16 points and eight rebounds. Butler had 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists but sat out the final 9:47 of the game. Caleb Martin finished with 14 points.
It was Butler’s lowest-scoring game of the playoffs. He had 16 points in Game 3, a blowout win by Miami.
“The last two games are not who we are,” Butler added. “We stopped playing defense halfway because we did not make shots.”
The Heat started Kyle Lowry at point guard after Gabe Vincent was ruled out with a sprained left ankle earlier in the day. It was Lowry’s first start since Feb. 2.
Miami never led and had 16 turnovers.