LAGO BUENA VISTA, Florida – After the Boston Celtics took a second consecutive lead in the second half and lost 106-101 to the Miami Heat on Thursday night, Celtics guard Marcus Smart was yelling at his teammates in the locker room before leave the swearing room, according to ESPN’s Malika Andrews.
Smart left the locker room screaming, “You’re all on bulls —“, according to Andrews, and there were several loud noises – like someone throwing things – coming from inside, as several players, besides Smart, yelled.
Although Smart left without speaking to reporters after being prompted after the second game of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, the ones who spoke – Celtics manager Brad Stevens, guards Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown, and forward Jayson Tatum – they all tried to downplay the situation.
“It was nothing,” Walker said. “It was nothing.”
“The boys were thrilled after a difficult match,” said Stevens. “Difficult loss.”
“It’s really just, a lot of excitement flying around,” Brown said. “Obviously we feel like we could have won, we should have won, but we didn’t. So just a lot of emotions flying around. That’s it.”
“I don’t know who said that,” said Tatum. “I mean, we are 0-2. I mean, we are frustrated, but this is team sport.
“We shouldn’t be happy to be 0-2 down, but nothing extraordinary, just talking about the match. It’s nice. I have to prepare for the next one.”
To do this, the Celtics will need to figure out what happened to them in the fourth quarter of Game 1 and the third quarter of Game 2 – both of which saw Boston pull double-digit lead (14 points in Game 1 and 15 in Game 2). . Boston was beaten 37-17 in the third quarter on Thursday night, disintegrating in a shower of missed shots and bad turnovers.
“Dude, they beat us,” Walker said. “They beat us. It is really unacceptable of us. It was a really bad quarter for us.
“We didn’t keep doing the things we did to get up and take the lead. I think we felt comfortable, and those guys benefited greatly. They played hard. They played really hard.. They played a lot more. hard of us. They wanted it. “
But even after that, the Celtics managed to stabilize. And after going 15-2, Boston took a 94-89 lead with 4:25 left when Walker buried a 3-pointer, and it looked like the Celtics might be able to survive their disastrous third quarter.
Only when it looked like the Celtics had things sorted out did they quickly disintegrate again. Miami ended the game with a 17-7 run, including nine in a row to go from two to seven with just over a minute to play.
And while the Celtics managed to come back in screaming distance thanks to Brown’s 3 consecutive points, his potential triple draw from the corner in front of the Miami bench with 15.1 seconds left was long, and Jimmy Butler scored. a couple of free throws to freeze the match for the Heat.
“We just have to be healthy, perform and stay together,” Brown said. “That’s it. We are confident in our abilities, we are confident in our game plan.
“We just didn’t run it to the extent that we know we can. Two games, we lost towards the end of the game and we can’t wait for Game 3 to come. We have to find a way to win.”
The Celtics fought hard against the Miami zone defense in the second half, going 5 for 15 from the field and committing five turnovers. Boston had similar problems during its seven Eastern Conference semifinal games against the Toronto Raptors, one it barely managed to survive after throwing out a couple of games it probably should have won.
Now, having done so in their first two games of this series, the Celtics are within two games of elimination against a Miami side that are 10-1 in the playoffs. To add insult to injury, Butler himself said after the game that the Heat aren’t as talented as this Boston team – an advantage that should only go further in Boston’s favor if striker Gordon Hayward, who was updated to doubtful before skipping Race 2, he can return to Race 3 on Saturday night or Race 4 on Wednesday.
“This is what [defense is] about, winning championships, “Butler said.
“This is how we will win. We have to make it a tougher game. We have to get her out of the mud, as they say, because in terms of talent, I think Boston has an advantage.”
So far, regardless of whether it’s passed or passed, Boston hasn’t been able to play at a sustained level for an entire match. And, because of that, the Celtics find themselves in a two-loss hole in this series.
“We didn’t play for 48 full minutes of being locked up and executing the game plan,” Brown said. “I feel like maybe about 75 percent, we played really well. It’s always a quarter or sequence of events where we have crashes, and against this team, we can’t have them.
“If we take it off, we will win.”