Sport Celtics top Heat 117-106, cut East finals deficit to 2-1
Comeback Heat do it again, rally past Celtics for 2-0 lead
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) Down by 14 in Game 1, the Miami Heat found a way. © APWF Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) celebrates after sinking a basket against the Boston Celtics during the second half of an NBA conference final playoff basketball game, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Down by 17 in Game 2, they did it again Thursday night. And after making the Boston Celtics lose another big lead on the court - as well as their cool in the postgame locker room - the unheralded Heat are two wins away from the NBA Finals.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) Getting big leads has been relatively easy for the Boston Celtics in these Eastern Conference finals.
This time, they also found a way to finish the job.
LeBron James makes scary admission about MVP race
Despite being upset, James also acknowledged that Giannis Antetokounmpo deserved the NBA MVP..James had 15 points and 12 assists in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 126-114 win over the Nuggets in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. He learned earlier in the day that he finished second in the NBA MVP vote behind Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Milwaukee Bucks star got 85 first-place votes, while James received 16.
And just like that, the East title series got a whole lot closer.
Jaylen Brown scored 26 points, Jayson Tatum added 25 and the Celtics got right back into the East finals with a 117-106 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 3 on Saturday night. Kemba Walker added 21 to help Boston pull to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.
Marcus Smart scored 20 points for Boston, going 9 for 9 from the foul line in the fourth quarter. The Celtics - who also got 14 rebounds and eight assists from Tatum - outscored Miami 60-36 inside the paint, led by as many as 20 and never trailed.
Boston Celtics' keys for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals
Here are three things to watch for Saturday night as the Celtics take on the Heat in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals. Can the Celtics contain the Heat’s second punch?The result of this series will depend on if the Celtics can contain the inevitable second punch from Miami. Boston held a 12-point lead heading into the fourth quarter of Game 1, only to lose in overtime. In Game 2, they led by 17 in the first half before being outscored by 20 in the third quarter.Miami started slow in both games during the series, something that wasn’t the case in the Eastern Conference semifinals versus the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Celtics held Miami to 39% shooting.
Bam Adebayo had 27 points and 16 rebounds for the Heat, who fell for just the second time in 12 games in these playoffs. Tyler Herro scored 22 points, Jimmy Butler had 17 and Duncan Robinson 13.
The Heat rallied from 14 points down to win Game 1 in overtime, 17 points down to win Game 2, but never caught up Saturday - though they put together a late run to make matters interesting.
They got within eight on a 3-pointer by Robinson with 1:12 left, setting the tone for the Celtics to scramble at the end. Brown committed a flagrant foul nine seconds later, and Robinson made one of two free throws to cut Boston's lead to 109-102.
Adebayo scored on the ensuing possession to get Miami within five and cap a 24-9 run, but the Heat got no closer.
He's a Herro: Heat top Celtics, move a game from NBA Finals
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) Tyler Herro should still be in college. He's not, but is still a student. He carries a red spiral-bound notebook with him at all times, jotting down notes when things pop into his head. What worked, what didn't, where he thinks he can get better and how he's feeling after a game.''It helps me get locked in, helps me focus,'' Herro said. © APWF Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) celebrate scoring against the Boston Celtics during the second half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference final, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J.
Herro had 16 points in the second quarter alone to keep Miami close, the last of those 16 coming on a 3-pointer with 3:22 left before halftime to cut Boston's lead to 51-48.
That's when the Celtics started to run away.
Boston got three consecutive fast-break scores in a span of 48 seconds to push its lead back to 10, and after a late 3-pointer by Walker it was 63-50 at the break.
And when Miami tried another comeback in the third, Boston again had a late-in-the-quarter answer.
The Heat went on an 11-1 run to get to 82-73 on a layup by Herro with 1:08 left in the third, and Boston answered with the next seven points - needing just 32.9 seconds to get them.
Goran Dragic had 11 for Miami and Jae Crowder finished with 10. The Heat were 12 for 44 from 3-point range.
Celtics: This is the 124th series in Boston playoff history, and the Celtics have trailed 3-0 in only seven of them. ... Brown and Tatum now have eight games each of at least 20 points so far in these playoffs. ... Gordon Hayward made his return after missing a month with a sprained right ankle, scoring six points in 31 minutes.
Jayson Tatum's inspirational halftime speech spurs Celtics to victory
Tatum was the big scorer for the Celtics. He had 31 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Tatum was sent to the line for 14 free throws and made 12 of them to help give Boston a boost. Game 6 of the series will be on Sunday with Miami leading 3-2. The Celtics seem to have gotten their chemistry in line after their issues following Game 2.Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports. Customize your email to get the latest news on your favorite sports, teams and schools. Emailed daily.
Heat: Even with the loss, Miami matched the best 12-game start to any postseason in team history - now 10-2. The Heat also started postseasons that way in 2005, 2012 and 2013. ... Miami never led, marking the first time that happened in the team's last 70 games. The only other instance of that this season for the Heat was Nov. 23 against Philadelphia.
ROAD, SWEET ROAD
Games in the bubble still count toward ''home'' and ''road'' records. The road-designated team has won the last 12 games in which Boston has played - and in the playoffs, road teams are now 39-31. That ties the NBA record for road wins in any postseason; teams were 39-50 on the road in the 2014 playoffs. The road winning percentage this postseason (.557 right now) would also be an NBA record; the current mark is .519, set in 1966 when road teams went 14-13.
Dwyane Wade answers million-dollar question about NBA Finals
Wade spent 15 of his 17 NBA seasons playing for the Heat. But one of his best friends, LeBron James, plays for the Lakers.So who is Wade rooting for? Magic Johnson asked that question, and Wade answered. He says either way he will be happy with the outcome, but he is going pulling for the Heat. We call this a win/win but it’s #HeatNation over here! https://t.co/8ZfvEZurBR — DWade (@DwyaneWade) September 28, 2020 That’s how it should be.Wade is revered as a franchise icon and continues to have deep ties to the organization, its owners, members, and players.
Partly to allow the Western Conference finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets to catch up, the Heat and Celtics won't play Game 4 until Wednesday. Game 2 of Lakers-Nuggets is Sunday, followed by Game 3 on Tuesday. From there, both series will have an every-other-day format.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports
Andrew Wiggins downplays old feud with Jimmy Butler .
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes addresses the media after a Week 3 win against the Baltimore Ravens.