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Heat Vs. Celtics, NBA Playoffs 2012 Game 5: Boston Takes 3-2 Lead In Eastern Conference Finals

For the first time in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Miami Heat are down in their series against the Boston Celtics. Miami dropped Game 5 94-90 on Tuesday night, as the Celtics made a big push in the third quarter and down the stretch to take a 3-2 lead.

Miami struggled on the offensive end in the first half but LeBron James kept the Heat ahead, scoring 18 of his 30 points in the first half. In addition to the 30 points, James also grabbed 13 rebounds. Dwyane Wade had a quiet first half but led Miami on a 9-0 run in the second, finishing with 27 points on 10 of 22 from the floor. But there was little else happening for the Heat on the offensive end -- Chris Bosh provided a huge spark off the bench in the first half, scoring nine points and grabbing six boards but he would not score again in his first game back since straining an abdominal muscle.

Kevin Garnett carried Boston through a poor shooting night, scoring 26 points, grabbing 11 boards, and completely altering the game on defense in the paint. Boston then hit some huge shots and got the bounces down the stretch. Even Mickael Pietrus got in on the act, hitting two big shots. But the real dagger came from Paul Pierce, who was awful all night but rose up to knock in a three to give Boston a four-point lead with 50 seconds to go.

On the brink of elimination, the series now returns to TD Garden in Boston for Game 6 on Thursday night.

Stick with this StoryStream for news and updates throughout the Eastern Conference Finals. For more analysis and discussion on the Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier. Visit CelticsBlog and SB Nation Boston for the opponent's perspective during the series. For all your Conference Finals analysis, visit SB Nation's NBA hub.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.