Still angry over the loss to Miami, which cost them an advantage at home in the Eastern Conference finals, the Heat jumped to 25 points in the first half ahead of the Boston Celtics in Game 3.
Bam Adebayo then made sure it was enough – just barely – to bring Miami ahead 2-1 in a series of top seven.
The Heath Center scored 31 points with 10 rebounds, filling the void left by the injured Jimmy Butler, and leading Miami to victory on Saturday night with a score of 109-103. Adebayo also had six assists and four of a record 19 post-season interceptions in the Heath franchise.
“He made his own version of what Jimmy is doing:‘ Do what it takes to play, ’” Heat coach Eric Spoelstra said. “Tonight we needed a set-off and this offensive strike at the very beginning.
“Then when Jimmy came out in the second half, he just stabilized us,” Spoelstra added. “It got a little sloppy there, and when that happened, we were able to get the ball to Bam and just get something agreed upon.”
The Celtics never led, but they reduced the 62-37 deficit to one point, 93-92, from 2:40 to play on three-pointer Jalen Brown, who finished with 40 points. Max Strus answered 3 and then Adebayo bounced off defender Al Horford and hit the basket with a clockwork beep to give Miami a six-point cushion.
The Celtics never came closer.
Game 4 Monday night in Boston.
“In the previous game, as everyone noticed, they beat us as if we had stolen something,” Adebayo said. “It should wake everyone up. That’s all the beating at home – it’s all said. “
In a game of bruises in which Butler and Jason Tatum of Boston and Marcus Smart left with injuries – although both the Celtics returned – Kyle Lowry returned after a four-game absence and scored 11 with six assists for the Heat. PJ Tucker – like Lowry, the decision during the game – scored 17 behind Miami.
Horford scored 20 points with 14 rebounds and Smart 16. Tatum scored 10 points with 3 to 14 shots; he also had six turns, and Brown made seven of 24 turns in the 2022 Boston playoffs.
“Six turns and not a single goal scored in the second half is unacceptable,” Tatum said. “Honestly, I need to play better. It seems to me that I left the guys hanging tonight. It’s up to me. “
After losing the 2nd game at home with a score of 25 points, “Heath” opened the lead with a score of 62-37, remaining less than three minutes in the second quarter. Boston then scored the last 10 points in the half to make their way into the game.
The situation worsened for Heath when during the break they announced that Butler, who had scored 41 goals in the first series, would not return with an inflammation of his right knee.
Miami still led with a score of 15, 87-72, after three, and made it a 17-point game on Adebayo’s basket to start fourth. But the Celtics threw the next nine points to stand within the single digits for the first time in the first three minutes of the game. Lagging behind 93-80, the Celtics scored 12 points in a row – 10 from Brown – and it became a one-point game from 2:40 to the end.
The next seven points were scored by Miami.
“We didn’t think it would suddenly be an easy series and they would break up,” Boston coach Named Udok said. “We bounced back from Game 1 to Game 2 and they were going to do the same thing and we had to match that and come out for whatever reason.”