Coach Erik Spoelstra moved up on the NBA Playoffs coaching wins list after his Miami Heat posted another comeback triumph in the East finals. The Heat took down Boston Celtics, 106-101.
Miami was down 17 points in the second period, looking pale and without a solution for Boston’s surging offense. But that changed after the halftime, with the Heat players outclassing the rivals, dropping 37 points and allowing 17 in the third quarter.
“We like to make it hard on ourselves,” said Jimmy Butler said after the end. “We like being down double-digits and being the comeback kids.”
This wasn’t the only comeback the Heat had in this one, as they allowed the Celtics to regain the lead in the final period by scoring 10 unanswered points and going away to 94-89. Miami again made a big run, this time 13-1. Until the end of the game, Boston had a chance to tie the match. With 104-101 for the Heat, Jaylen Brown missed a three-pointer, and Jimmy Butler sunk both of his free throws on the other end.
The Celtics were heavily frustrated following the game, and they didn’t hide it. The best player of the C’s, Jayson Tatum, confirmed it.
“We’re frustrated. But that’s team sports. Not supposed to be happy we’re down 0-2. But that’s nothing out of the ordinary. Just talking about the game. It’s cool,” he said.
It appears that Brad Stevens’ boys had some sort of a noisy argument in the locker room after the game, and the reporters who were nearby heard it. However, the players didn’t want to speak about that.
Tatum had 21 points with five boards and four assists. Interestingly, he didn’t have a single three. Kemba Walker had four in 11 tries, totaling for 23 points, team-high) and seven boards. Jaylen Brown had 21 points too, only with six rebounds.
Marcus Smart notched 14.
“Right now, they’re a better team. We’re going to have to fight to get back in this series,” said Brad Steven, Boston’s head coach.
The Heat had fewer turnovers, 11 compared to Boston’s 20, which allowed them to score 26 direct points due to this matter. Meanwhile, Boston had just 10 buckets in this area.
Bam Adebayo was once again the man of the match with 15 points delivered in the third quarter, most of them during his team’s initial surge. The big man ended the contest with 21 points, 10 boards, and 10-for-16 from the field, backing up his team when needed the most.
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Goran Dragic continued his streak of excellent performances in the playoffs. The Slovenian veteran had 25 buckets with five assists on top, organizing the offense in the best possible way. With 22.2 points in the playoffs he is the No.1 scorer in Miami.
Duncan Robinson was once again sharp from downtown with 18 points, all of them long-distance, 6-for-12 for three. Jimmy Butler was quiet when it comes to scoring 14 baskets, but had a major impact on the defensive side, recording four steals and making some stops in essential moments.
Jae Crowder had 12 buckets.
Miami’s head coach Erik Spoelstra moved up on the NBA playoffs coaching wins list. The two-time NBA champion has 81 wins and is tied with KC Jones at No.8. The next target for the 49-year old is Doc Rivers, who has 91. The undisputed leader on the list is Phil Jackson, with 229 victories in the postseason.
Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals is set for this Saturday.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.