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Heat vs. Celtics score, takeaways: Miami completes 1st comeback with overtime against Boston



The Miami Heat swept the Indiana Pacers, shocked the Milwaukee Bucks, and stormed into the opening game of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics. Miami started the series at the wrong end of an 8-0 run and followed with as many as 13 points in the first quarter and looked thoroughly discombulated by offense. However, it hung around and eventually escaped with a 117-114 victory in overtime after a clutch play from Jimmy Butler and an incredible block by Bam Adebayo.

Butler attacked the basket against Jayson Tatum, scoring over his outstretched arms, where he made a mistake in the process, giving Miami a two-point lead with 1

2 seconds left. At the next possession, Tatum ran towards Butler and went for a dunk, but Adebayo met him at the edge and swept the ball away. Tatum then missed a desperate 3-pointer at the buzzer.

With 22 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Butler hit a corner 3 to give the Heat a point by one point, but after a timeout, Derrick Jones Jr. committed. In overtime, Kemba Walker hit a stepback jumper with 23.2 seconds left before Butler and Adebayo saved the day for Miami.

Butler finished with 20 points on 7-to-14 shooting, but the Heat’s main offensive player for much of the night was Goran Dragic, who had 29 points on 11-to-19 shooting. Miami surpassed Boston 35-35 in the final frame and 11-8 in overtime.

Tatum scored 30 points on 10-to-24 shooting and Marcus Smart added 26 points on 9-on-18 shooting, but Walker shot 6-on-19 for his 19 points. Miami tried to take Walker out of rhythm with a combination of a 2-3 zone, catch and shift. This time it worked well enough.

Here are three takeaways:

1. Whatever it takes

One of Miami coach Erik Spoelstra’s pet phrases is “whatever it takes.” He loves to talk about how playoff competition tests you and forces you to react when things don’t go your way. Therefore, I imagine this will be his favorite win in the Heat’s playoff race. Miami sat in the mud early on, dealing with a defense that works completely differently than the Milwaukees. It stumbled again offensively after the break, but stuck to it.

If you’re tired of hearing about “Heat Culture” and how much these players believe in themselves, I totally understand. But they have bought into all of these things and no team is making a comeback like this without some degree of confidence. Early in the second quarter, Dragic was the lone Miami player who made something happen, but down the stretch, almost everyone on the floor made important contributions.

Again, Jae Crowder punished the opponent almost every time he was left open behind the arc. Forward finished with 22 points on 7-to-11 shooting, including 5-for-9 from deep. Tyler Herro also made a couple of 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter, and the game-winning games from Butler and Adebayo were a combination of smarts, strength and sheer willpower.

In his post-game Zoom conference, Spoelstra pointed out that Adebayo was not even in a good offensive stream, but found a way to put his fingerprints on the game anyway.

“It could be a poster can,” Spoelstra said. “And a lot of people will not be willing, are not willing to play it and sit out there when Jayson Tatum comes to the launch pad. He just saved a big time for us. Tatum had an angle and it looked like he had an open track for the rim. And sometimes when you have a lot of competition like this, you just have to make pieces that you can’t even really explain. “

2. This Dragic thing is not new

In the regular season, Goran Dragic averaged 16.2 points on 57.3 percent true shooting, with 5.1 assists and 3.2 rebounds. He played 28.2 minutes a game as the Heat’s sixth man, but in the minute he was as productive as he was when he came to the All-NBA third team in 2013-14 with the Phoenix Suns.

In the first two rounds of this year’s playoffs, Dragic averaged 21.1 points on 56.2 percent true shooting plus 4.7 assists and 4.4 rebounds in 34.7 minutes. It may have felt like Dragic has reached another level recently, but really he has essentially maintained his level in a bigger role. Instead of letting him run the show when Butler goes on the bench, Spoelstra has made defenses for him, Butler and Adebayo at the same time from the opening tip, making each of them much more dangerous.

In the second quarter on Tuesday, Dragic scored 11 points on 5-for-6 shooting and kept the Heat afloat as the Celtics were in full control of the game. This bought Miami some time and allowed the team to settle down.

“It was really important because we could not get anything started,” said Spoelstra. “And it’s a great time for their defense. They got us out of our normal rhythm. It was not about us; that’s what they do. And Goran was able to shake himself free a few times and put some points on the board just gave us a little more confidence in the second quarter. “

It was nowhere near as memorable or spectacular as the pieces Butler and Adebayo made, but with three and a half minutes left in overtime, Dragic drew a mistake on Boston’s big man Daniel Theis under the basket. The Heat had yet to score in the extra frame and the Celtics were up four after a stepback jumper from Walker. Dragic not only killed Boston’s momentum, but he also rejected Theis out of the game.

“Many of the general fans out there do not know what a competitor he is and has been his entire career,” said Spoelstra. “And I’m talking about in the states, but also abroad. To win [FIBA European] championship two summers ago, you need guys who know how it is, how hard it is, and especially when we have young players that we trust, you need veteran, experienced winners who can kind of beat you down. And that’s who Goran is. “

The Celtics’ offense has come back to life

This is likely to be lost because of the way the game ended, but after seven rock fights against the Toronto Raptors, Boston found an offensive rhythm. The Celtics scored 116.5 points per game. 100 holdings in this loss per. Cleaning the glass, which is better than they managed in any game in the second round and better than their normal season. It’s not a small feat against a Heat team that has been phenomenally defensive through the playoffs.

Boston was blessed with some hot footage from Smart, but the more meaningful development was the return to Tatum’s sidestep 3-pointer. He shot 4-for-12 from deep, and the most significant number there are 12 – unlike the series against Toronto, where he was often chased by smaller guards, Tatum was able to make room against Miami defenders with relative ease .

The Celtics have some things to figure out, mainly in terms of how they will handle the 2-3 zone and Adebayo’s switches against Walker. In general terms, however, their offense looked healthy, and if Gordon Hayward is back for Game 2 on Thursday, everything should be a little easier.




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