Back on the wall, the Celtics have done what it takes to avoid being led 0-3 tonight, against Miami.
Boston remains alive. He led 0-2 after two very close first matches, which could have changed side to side, Jaylen Brown’s Celtics (26 points), Jayson Tatum (25 points, 14 points) and Kemba Walker (21 points)) he disposed of Miami last night, in the bubble (117-106). Logical victory. Aggressive in defense, dominant in color (60 points at 36, 50 rebounds at 42) and clean attackers, they have always led in this controlled part. Jimmy Butler (17 points) didn’t have his usual impact and Goran Dragic (11 points, 2/10) missed his subject. 27 points and 16 rebounds by Bam Adebayo and 22 points signed by Tyler Herro for Miami, who leads 2-1 in these finals in the East. Note the return of Gordon Hayward (6 pt), out of the 1st round. 20 points for Marcus Smart.
The Celtics take the lead
Serious and diligent, the Cs played particularly loyal basketball from the first quarter (0 to 4) and were already making their way into the racket (18 to 4 points). Attach the circle again and again. Enough to make the race in front of the entrance and lead by 12 points in the first minutes of the second quarter, after a triple from Walker (36-24). Scoring 18 points at half-time, the aptly named Herro got him tit for tat and caught fire to bring Miami to possession, in two minutes (40-37, then 51-48). But Boston still tightened the screw in defense, multiplying interceptions and easy baskets in transition to regain a 12-point lead on the break (60-48, then 62-50 MT). And this despite a small 4/14 from a distance (to 8/18). But with eight more rebounds (26-18), four fewer ball losses (4-8) and a 24-unit drop in the racket (34-10), it wasn’t a big deal.
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And the recovery continued on the same basis, with Boston still good and tough, and Miami a notch below in all areas (74-56). Adebayo was doing well in attack, but Heat were still too forgiving in terms of access to the circle and the Dragic-Butler tandem failed to take off in goal (81-62). The climate was a bit tense on the floor, it flowed in all directions, Miami was immediately full of energy and the sinister feathers of the C (82-73). Short-lived thinning for Floridians (89-73) who found themselves short by 20 points in the fourth quarter (100-80). Surrender, however, is not in the DNA of this Miami team that returned to -5 at the last minute after a triple by Duncan Robinson (13 points), a “Flagrant 1” to Brown (elbow) and a dunk by Adebayo ( 109-104). Never Closer (Final Score 117-106) … This is only Miami’s second play-off defeat.
Back to the West next night
Of course, the textual explanation that took place in the Boston locker room after Game 3 paid off. Brad Stevens players got the job done. A few days to breathe in this series, with Game 4 scheduled for the night from Wednesday to Thursday (2:30). The next night will be the second round of the Western Finals between the Lakers and Denver (1:30 am), with LA opening the day with a demonstration (126-114).