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Hot-shooting Celtics roll past Heat in Game 2 to even Eastern Conference finals 1-1

Hot-shooting Celtics roll past Heat in Game 2 to even Eastern Conference finals 1-1


MIAMI — Sport 2 was over by halftime. Possibly even a bit of earlier than.

Delivering a powerful beat-down and constructing a 29-point lead within the first half, the Boston Celtics sailed to a 127-102 victory in opposition to the Miami Warmth on Thursday, tying the Japanese Convention finals at 1-1.

At first, it appeared just like the Warmth is perhaps the workforce headed for a blowout victory. Miami constructed an 18-8 lead, however the recreation shifted when Boston went small, subbing in Grant Williams for Robert Williams. Boston completed the quarter on a 20-5 run and continued to clobber the Warmth with protection and scorching taking pictures within the second quarter.

It was Miami’s first dwelling lack of the postseason because the Celtics snatched home-court benefit.

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Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 27 factors, and Marcus Sensible and Jaylen Brown every had 24 factors for Boston. Miami’s Jimmy Butler had a game-high 29 factors.

Sport 3 is Saturday in Boston (8:30 p.m. ET, ABC).

Grant Williams impact

The Celtics trailed 18-13 when Grant Williams checked into the sport. Williams stayed in for the rest of the half, and by the point the Celtics took a 64-37 lead, that they had outscored by the Warmth by 32 factors in Williams’ 14 minutes, 36 seconds on the court docket.

For the sport, the Celtics have been 37 factors higher than the Warmth with Williams on the ground.

He had 19 factors and 4 rebounds, however his affect was higher than his stat line. The Warmth didn’t have many solutions for a smaller lineup particularly with Sensible and Al Horford again on the court docket after lacking Sport 1.

Warmth’s offensive issues

In a recreation like this, Miami’s offensive issues weren’t only one factor. Boston’s protection performed significantly better and didn’t put Butler on the free-throw line as usually because it did in Sport 1. And Miami didn’t make photographs, taking pictures 44.2% from the sphere and going 10-for-34 (29.4%) on 3-pointers.

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Early within the third quarter, Butler was the one Warmth participant in double-figures in factors, and whereas his 41-point effort in Sport 1 did the job, the Warmth want extra from others.

Miami lacked scoring alongside Butler, and that might be a key facet of the collection to comply with. Tyler Herro, the Sixth Man of the 12 months, had 11 factors however simply seven within the first three quarters and was the one Warmth reserve to attain by way of three.

Max Strus and Bam Adebayo every had six factors, and P.J. Tucker had 5 factors. Gabe Vincent contributed 14 factors as Miami’s starters have been outscored 90-60. Twelve of Victor Oladipo’s 14 factors got here in a meaningless fourth quarter.

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Horford, Sensible again within the lineup

Horford cleared the NBA’s COVID well being and security protocols and Sensible returned from a sprained proper foot. Each gamers missed Sport 1 and have been within the beginning lineup for Sport 2.

Earlier than the sport, Celtics coach Ime Udoka stated each gamers have been “full go.”

“Clearly a profit for us,” he stated.

Sensible was simply 8-for-22 from the sphere however 5-for-12 on 3s. The Defensive Participant of the 12 months additionally had 12 assists, 9 rebounds and three steals. He had an affect on the sport, enjoying on an injured foot that sidelined him simply two days prior. It was a quiet night time for Horford (10 factors, three rebounds), however as Udoka stated, the Celtics profit with him on the court docket.

Celtics rediscover 3-point shot

Boston shot 9-for-11 on 3-pointers within the first quarter — harking back to its scorching 3-point taking pictures within the closing two video games in opposition to Milwaukee within the convention semifinals. The Celtics struggled with the 3-ball in Sport 1.

The Celtics completed 20-for-40 on 3s, and whereas it wasn’t the principle issue within the end result, they outscored the Warmth by 30 factors from lengthy vary.

Tatum, Williams, Sensible, Horford, Brown, and Payton Pritchard (10 factors) all made a minimum of two 3s.

Whereas Tatum and Brown are the principle scorers, the Celtics have a number of scoring choices, which is perhaps the figuring out issue on this collection.

White misses Sport 2

Celtics guard Derrick White, who began Sport 1 instead of Sensible, missed Sport 2 so he may very well be current for the start of his little one along with his spouse, Hannah.

“(The infant) got here ahead of anticipated,” Udoka stated. “We help our guys all the time in that scenario. He needed to rush out at the moment.”

Quote of the night time

“You do received to maneuver on. I do not like to maneuver on from this as a result of it has to harm. They tried to embarrass us. They did embarrass us.” — Jimmy Butler.

Comply with Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter @JeffZillgitt.

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