Friday, June 21 2024

The Miami Heat finished seven 3-pointers short of another stunning win over the Boston Celtics on Saturday.

To put it another way, the Celtics restored order with a 104-84 win over the Heat to take a 2-1 lead in the first round, avenging their Game 2 loss in which Miami hit a franchise playoff-record 23 3-pointers. The Heat followed that up with a 9-of-28 (32.1%) night from deep.

The Celtics, owners of the NBA’s best record in the regular season, asserted their will early and often, building up a nine-point lead by the end of the first quarter and a 24-point lead at halftime. Boston never trailed and led by as many as 29 points in the second half, taking the air out of a Kaseya Center crowd hoping to shock the world again.

One Heat player proclaimed the team was in a “code red” after Game 2. You can only wonder what kind of code they were in on Saturday.

By most metrics, it was a casual beatdown for the Celtics. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown had 22 points each, while Kristaps Porzingis (18) and Derrick White (16) were the only other players to score in double figures. The team committed five turnovers total.

Boston was an overwhelming favorite in this series for a reason. One team in this series went 64-18 and finished 14 games clear of any other team in the Eastern Conference, with a starting lineup of four All-Stars who have worked beautifully together so far. The other team reached the playoffs via the final play-in game and is still without Jimmy Butler.

The Heat obviously aren’t incapable of beating the Celtics in a game, it’s just that Game 2 showed they’ll need a hot shooting night as much as anything. They’ll get their next chance in Game 4 on Monday at 7 p.m. ET (TNT).

Source: Yahoo Sports

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