The Celtics were down by 10 early in the game but a shift in momentum would change all of that. Jayson Tatum scored 27 points, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown both had 24 points as the Celtics win in a route 127-104. Now the Celtics will go back to Boston with the series tied and home court advantage.
The first quarter was close until the Celtics got hot from deep. They went on a 17-0 run late in the first quarter where they hit five 3-pointers in six possessions. From then on the Celtics took control and never looked back. The Celtics went 9 for 11 on 3-pointers in the first with Brown leading the way with 11 points.
After trailing by 10 in the first quarter Boston would go on a 60-21 run the next 18 minutes. In the second quarter the lead grew larger and Tatum had 17 points. Going into the half up 70-45. The Miami crowd was stunned to say the least.
It looked like everyone was hot, Payton Pritchard and Al Horford scored 10 and Grant Williams scored 17. Smart almost messed around and got a triple double but he was one rebound shy and was a great distributer with 12 assists. The Celtics are now 4-0 in bounce back games.
For the Heat it was a night to forget.
“They came out, and hit us in the mouth.” Heat center Bam Adebayo stated.
The Heat lost at home for the first time in the playoffs this year making their record 7-1. Jimmy Butler had 29 points in 32 minutes with Gabe Vincent and Victor Oladipo scoring 14 each.
Butler tried everything he could to bring his team back in the third quarter. He would score 16 and cut the lead down to 17 but the Celtics had other plans. They responded with a 12-2 run late in the quarter. Brought the lead back up to 27 and cruised to the finish line.
Getting back Smart back did wonders for the Celtics. Smart was able to become the point and take the pressure off Tatum on the offensive end. On the defensive end he guarded Butler taking more pressure off Brown and Tatum allowing them to focus more on their offense. This team looks more like a unit with Smart in the lineup.
Game 3 will be Saturday in Boston.