Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 25: Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics grabs a rebound ahead of Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat during the first quarter in game five of the Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 25, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

There were multiple deserving candidates for ‘Player of the Game’ after the Celtics’ season-extending 110-97 win over the Miami Heat on Thursday night. After all, the Celtics had four players score 20-plus points in the same game for the first time all season.

With so many players playing well offensively, we go do defense for the tiebreaker. That hands this edition of POTG to the former DPOY, Marcus Smart.

  • With their backs up against the wall, the Celtics got a very well-rounded performance from Smart. He came one point shy of his playoff high, finishing with 23 on 7-of-12 shooting. Smart also shot 4-of-6 from three, including two massive shots from the corner momentum-wise in the opening minutes, that helped the Celtics jump out to a double-digit lead early.

    On the other end of the floor, Smart’s night his highlighted statistically by a team-high five steals. His impact went beyond those steals though, as he set the tone right from the beginning, diving on a lose ball to create an early steal. From there he played a key role in closing out on Miami shooters, something the Celtics struggled to do through the first three games of the series.

    Overall, Smart finished the game plus-20 on the floor. That led the Celtics on the night.

    Jaylen Brown may have put Smart’s performance into context best following the game. “Smart was a beast tonight,” he told reporters. “I don’t know what game y’all was watching but Marcus was incredible on both sides of the ball.”

    Keep scrolling for Marcus Smart highlights from Thursday night…

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].

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