One team faced the other in the Eastern Conference Finals for the fourth time in as many games. Read this NBA News article.
And one of the weirdest best-seven streaks in recent NBA memory comes back to Miami tied, 2-2.
The Miami Heat missed its first 14 shots Monday night, scored the fewest points (one) in a playoff game this century in the first nine minutes, and lost 102-82 to the Boston Celtics.
With 31 points, eight rebounds and five assists, Jayson Tatum led five Celtics in double digits.
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The Heat led by 21 points at the end of the first quarter and up 26 points in the first half of Game 3 on Saturday, but Miami never threatened to stage a comeback in Game 4.
On Boston’s road to an 18-1 lead, Derrick White, who started in place of injured Celtics guard Marcus Smart (sprained right ankle), scored the game’s first seven points. White almost single-handedly beat the Heat in the first quarter, which his team won 29-11.
NBA News: It was a mirror image of Saturday’s Game 3
With Tatum, who was tending to an injured shoulder. He scored 12 points in each of the first two quarters, the Celtics leading 57-33 at halftime.
Victor Oladipo scored 13 of Miami’s first 18 points and 18 of their first 28 points – all off the bench – on 5-on-7 (3-4 3P, 5-6 FT) shooting in the first 21+ minutes of the game, narrowing the gap. Over two quarters, Oladipo’s teammates collected just 15 points in the 18/25/33 shooting interval.
Boston’s recklessness was gone. In Game 3, Miami took advantage of the Celtics’ 24 turnovers to score 33 points. In the first half of Monday’s game, Boston made just three errors. Bam Adebayo, who led the Heat with 31 points on Saturday, was not present. In the first 24 minutes of Game 4, he had three points and three turnovers.
The return of All-Defensive great Robert Williams helped the Celtics secure the paint, where the Heat hit just 14 of 45 shots. Boston controlled the defensive end of the field even without Defensive Player of the Year Smart.
Two early clips of Adebayo as he writhed in post games emerged from scouting and then he disappeared. Jimmy Butler’s forgeries went unnoticed, and Miami’s top two players combined for 15 points.
Butler and Kyle Lowry missed the final 16 minutes of Game 4 with right knee and left hamstring ailments, respectively, as Boston’s lead grew to 32 points.
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