The Miami Heat won their third drama game of the Eastern Finals at the Boston Celtics 109-103. Despite his 26-point lead, things got really bad in the end – also because Jimmy Butler was missing the entire second half.
The Heat star (8 points) suffered a knee infection and as a result did not return from the dressing room. In his place, Pam Adebayo (31 points, 15/22 FG, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals) dominated and Miami managed to maintain the lead they achieved in the first half.
PJ Tucker (17) and Max Strus (16) also made their contributions, while Kyle Lowry scored 11 points on his return. The key was also the defence, which forced a number of Celtic errors. Butler substitute Victor Oladipo (5 points, 4 steals) had a huge impact on that.
Butler did not receive an official diagnosis after the match, Chris Hines (Hey ho! Sports), however, stated that the odds are so good that Butler won’t have to miss another match. The fourth game in the series takes place in Boston on Tuesday night.
Jaylen Brown had a really good day with the host and scored 40 points (14/20 FG) and 9 rebounds, but also 7 turnovers. Alhorford scored 20 and 14 rebounds, while Marcus Smart scored 16 points. Jason Tatum disappointed with a 10 (3/14 FG, 6 spins). Daniel Theiss came in as a rookie with 1 point and 3 rebounds.
The Miami Heat dominate the first half
With the Celtics, Robert Williams had to sit out again with knee issues, and Daniel Theiss earned his fifth start of the post-season for him. There was better news for Miami as PJ Tucker reported his fitness and Kyle Lowry is back for the first time since Game 4 of the previous series.
The Heat got off to a better start, Lowry pushed the pace and found Butler after a competitor’s basket for an And-1 in transition, after which he himself added a three-pointer. Miami hitting his first six shots to lead 16-4, Adebayo started more aggressively and earned 10 points after six minutes. Miami completely dominated, quickly leading to 24:7.
Horford hit three, Brown went to the line for three freebies and hit two jumpers. At least things got a little better, but Adebayo counterattacked, and then Martin followed suit. 39:18 Miami in the first quarter break, the home team had already booed.
And things didn’t get any better at first, after Martin had a three-pointer lead, the Heat had a 46:20 lead. After the next timeout, the Celtics moved the ball a little better up front, but stops were rare. Butler per And-1 set to +23, Boston risked mistakes or twists. At the end of the quarter, the Celtics managed to get some good shots on the basket, then hit Tatum three more times. “Only” 62:47 Miami at the break.
Wild Final Stage: Celtics stumble on their feet
Miami started in the third quarter with Oladipo not previously used by Butler. Boston has Williams “home” instead of Thess. Then Smart severely twisted his ankle And I limped into the cabin, silence reigned in the hall. There was also a play, and Brown cut it to 11, then Strauss hit back. Smart returned to the court to thunderous applause and immediately set his triple pointer to just -10.
Boston couldn’t stop the turnarounds, so the lead didn’t shrink any further. On the contrary, Tucker made the corner +15 again. With 87:72 we went into the last quarter. On Brown’s shoulders, the Celtics made it back in the final quarter of the year, coming in by one point – but then the errors started piling up again.
Strauss-three, Adebayo from middle distance, hit Tucker from the free-throw line – giving Boston the ball away again in the meantime. Brown scored again from outside, as did Williams, but after a blatant foul by Williams against Oladipo, the match was finally decided.
The most important stats
Boston Celtics (2) – Miami Heat (1) 103: 109 (BOXSCORE), Series: 1-2
- Miami dominated the first half in almost every category. However, the transitions were especially noticeable, Boston was 11 at the break, and the guests only had 3 – and they used the opponent’s mistakes over and over to get easy points in the transition. This discrepancy continued into the second half, as the Celtics “go ahead” in a 23:8 ball loss. The Heat scored 33 points! Her 19 heists set the franchise’s watershed record.
- Heat also dominated the area, especially in the first quarter, and points in the paint were 20:2 after twelve minutes. As a result, Boston also looked all the way to the basket and closed itself better, so that Pam also had to shoot more than middle distance. PITP at the end: 48:34 for Miami.
- One feature that the Celtics had in the first half that kept them in the game: the free throws. Miami was only 3/3 in the first half, and Boston was already 14/18. It was a problem for Team The Heat that helped prevent them from winning this game early. However, the Celtics left a lot behind the streak (23/30).
- How problematic is losing the ball to Boston? Number one shows this particularly well: The Heat 22 (!) took another shot from the field. With similar odds, it is very difficult to make up for this even with a plus sign on the free throw line.
Celtics vs Hit: Thoughts about the game
Im Odoka (Celtics coach): “If you lose the ball 24 times and give them 33 points, you dig a hole. We are back but that is hard to beat. […] We didn’t match their strength from the start. It’s disappointing to be performing like this in a Conference Finals match.”
Bam Adebayo (Heat): “They hit us in the second game like we stole something. Set us all on fire.”
Star of the game: Pam Adebayo
So what! After two initially weak offensive matches, Pam earned as many points in the first half as in Matches 1 and 2 together. It’s hard to stop near the basket, and he’s also really strong as a playmaker and as a defender anyway. Oladipo also had at least half a match ball with his defense in the second half.
Game Fail: Jason Tatum
He was heavily defended by Tucker and was completely invisible for most of the game. It’s one thing the shot didn’t fall short, but Tatum didn’t put a line in the Celtics’ uncontrolled attack even as a playmaker. He also fell on his shoulder in the second half and had to be treated briefly in the locker room.
If you want to break the game down into one scene, this is: 48 seconds into the end, Boston had an entry throw, 7 points behind. So the Celtics were still in the game, but Lowry objected. Old man intercepts Grant Williams’ throw-in And I found Strauss to make the final decision – again, the Heat was mentally faster!
Celtics vs. Heat: Series at a Glance (1-2)
|1||May 18||2.30 am||Miami Heat||Boston Celtics||118: 107|
|2||May 20||2.30 am||Miami Heat||Boston Celtics||102: 127|
|3||May 22||2.30 am||Boston Celtics||Miami Heat||103: 109|
|4||May 24||2.30 am||Boston Celtics||Miami Heat||–|
|5||26 May||2.30 am||Miami Heat||Boston Celtics||–|
|6 *||May 28||2.30 am||Boston Celtics||Miami Heat||–|
|7 *||May 30||2.30 am||Miami Heat||Boston Celtics||–|