Celtics cruise past Heat to reach play-off semis

Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown

The Boston Celtics advanced to the NBA’s Eastern Conference play-off semi-finals with a comfortable 4-1 series win over the Miami Heat.

Derrick White and Jaylen Brown both scored 25 points in the Celtics’ 118-84 victory.

They dominated throughout despite centre Kristaps Porzingis’ absence with injury.

“I think this is my fourth time playing them in play-offs, but they all count the same,” said Celtics’ Jayson Tatum, who had 16 points and 12 rebounds.

“We did our job. We took care of business.”

The Celtics will next play either the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Orlando Magic.

The Cavaliers lead 3-2 with the sixth game of the best-of-seven series taking place in Orlando on Saturday.

Bam Adebayo scored 23 points for a Heat side depleted by injuries and their weak defence was exploited by the Celtics, who managed eight three-pointers in the opening quarter.

In the Western Conference, the Dallas Mavericks edged closer to the next round with a 123-93 win over the Los Angeles Clippers to take a 3-2 series lead.

Luka Doncic scored 35 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds despite playing with an injured knee and suffering with illness.

Doncic said he found the game “tough” but the adrenaline of the occasion helped him through.

“Once you get started, you want to do everything you can to help your team win,” he said.

“I just wanted to keep going.”

Paul George and Ivica Zubac added 15 points each for the Clippers but they struggled without their leading scorer Kwahi Leonard, who also has a knee problem.

Their series continues on Friday in Dallas.