Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown scored 19 points in the second half of a playoff win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday in Miami. Photo by Rhona Wise/EPA-EFE
MIAMI, May 26 (UPI) -- Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown smashed in a powerful slam dunk over center Bam Adebayo to punctuate the team's road victory over the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the 2022 Eastern Conference finals.
The slam came with about 5:16 remaining in the 93-80 win Wednesday at FTX Arena in Miami. The Celtics trailed in the first half and struggled offensively before they mounted a second-half rally powered by Brown and forward Jayson Tatum.
"The game opened up for me in the second half," Brown told reporters. "I didn't want to get down. I didn't want to look into the past and think that this game was over.
"My team needed me to come out and respond."
The Celtics held an 87-71 advantage when Brown took flight. He held the ball out near the half-court logo while being defended by Heat forward Jimmy Butler.
The Celtics guard then flew to his left and dribbled through the lane. He picked the ball up when he reached the paint. Adebayo then slid into the area to attempt to defend the play, but then moved to the side as Brown elevated.
Brown palmed the ball in his right hand and finished the play by slamming in through the rim. He then fell to the crowd to complete the strong sequence. The Celtics bench erupted in celebration for the score.
A broadcast camera then cut to members of the Heat front office, including President Pat Riley, who were seated courtside. The group stared stoically onto the court, with no emotional reaction.
"His aggression was great," Celtics coach Ime Udoka told reporters, when asked about Brown. "He made decisive decisions quick and didn't play in the crowd. He took care of the ball and got shots up. Some guys are tough shot makers, and he's one of them.
"We'd rather have him do that 100% of the time rather than turn the ball over. We just told him to get shots up."
Brown scored a game-high 25 points, with 19 in the second half of the victory. Tatum chipped in 22 points, with 18 over the final two quarters.
The Celtics will take a 3-2 series lead into Game 6, which tips off at 8:30 p.m. EDT Friday in Boston. Game 7, if necessary, will be Sunday in Miami.