Still angry for the blowout rate in Miami for their home-court advantage in the Eastern Conference final, the hit 25-points, three games ahead of Boston Celtic in the first half.
Bam Adebayo then confirmed that it was enough – just – to give Miami a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
The Heat Center scored 31 points with 10 rebounds, filling the void left by injured all-star Jimmy Butler and leading Miami to a 109-103 victory. Adebayo stole six assists and four hit franchise post-season record 19.
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Hit coach Eric Spoelstra said, “Jimmy did his version of what he did: ‘Do what you need to play.'” We needed scoring tonight and we needed that offensive punch.
“Then, when Jimmy was out in the second half, he stabilized us.
“It got a little tight there and when it did, we were able to get the ball to the left and get some consistency.”
The Celtics never took the lead, but they reduced the deficit to 62-37 to one point, 93-92, 2:40 in a three-pointer play by Jেনlen Brown, who finished with 40 points. Max Strauss answered with three and then bounced Adebayo defender Al Harford and made a basket in the shot clock buzzer to give Miami a six-point cushion.
The Celtics never came close.
Four matches in Boston on Tuesday.
“In the previous game, as everyone noticed, they beat us as if we had stolen something,” Adebayo said. “It should wake everyone up. Beating like this at home is all it takes.”
In an injured game, Butler and Boston’s Jason Tatum and Marcus Smart were seen leaving with injuries – although both Celtics are back – Kyle Lowry came back from a four-game absence and scored 11 runs with six assists for the hit. PJ Tucker – like Lori, decided during the game – scored 18 runs for Miami.
Harford scored 20 points with 14 rebounds, and Smart scored 16. Tatum had 10 points for 3 for 14; He also had six turnovers and seven commitments in Brown Boston’s 2022 play-off 24 turnover.
“Six turnovers, and no field goals in the second half – it’s unacceptable,” Tatum said. “Honestly, I have to play better. I feel like I’m hanging on to the boys tonight. It’s up to me.”
After losing the game by 25 points at home, the Heat opened the lead 62-37 with less than three minutes left in the second quarter. Boston then returned to the game, scoring the last 10 points of the half.
The situation worsened for the hit when they announced at half time that Butler, who had scored 41 runs in the opener of the series, would not return with inflammation in his right knee.
Miami is still leading 15, 87-72, after three, and to start the fourth it makes a 17-point game in Adebayo’s basket. But the Celtics threw the next nine points to get into the singles for the first time after the first three minutes of the game. 93-80 behind, Celtics scored 12 points straight – Brown’s 10 – turning it into a one point game with 2:40 remaining.
Miami made the next seven points.
“We didn’t think it was going to be an easy series all of a sudden and they were going to roll over,” said Boston coach Ime Udoka. “We came back from the first game to the second game, and they were going to do the same thing and we had to match it and come out flat for whatever reason.”
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