MIAMI (AP) — Jayson Tatum scored 27 factors, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown every had 24 and the Boston Celtics dominated the primary half to roll previous the Miami Heat 127-102 on Thursday night time and tie the Eastern Conference finals at a sport apiece.
Smart was a rebound shy of a triple-double, after including 12 assists and 9 rebounds.
Grant Williams scored 19 factors for Boston, which used a 17-0 run late within the first quarter — fueled by 5 3-pointers within the span of six possessions — to take management. Payton Pritchard and Al Horford every had 10 for the Celtics.
Jimmy Butler had 29 factors in 32 minutes for Miami, which fell to 7-1 at house in these playoffs. Gabe Vincent and Victor Oladpio every scored 14 factors, and Tyler Herro added 11 for the Heat.
The Celtics — now 4-0 in these playoffs within the sport instantly following a loss — made 20 photographs from 3-point vary to Miami’s 10. Game 3 is Saturday in Boston.
And the margin might have been worse: Boston led by as many as 34 factors within the fourth, placing this sport on the cusp of actually good Celtics historical past and actually unhealthy Heat historical past. The Celtics’ report for largest postseason win ever is 40, the Heat report for largest postseason loss ever is 36, and people numbers have been inside attain earlier than a meaningless Miami run over the ultimate moments.
Boston trailed by 10 within the first quarter, then outscored Miami 60-21 over the subsequent 18 minutes — a 39-point turnaround that wound up resulting in a 70-45 halftime lead.
The 25-point halftime lead was the largest by the Celtics in any highway playoff sport, topping a 22-point edge on the break at Chicago in 2009.
Brown had 11 factors within the first quarter, when the Celtics went 9 for 11 from 3-point vary. Tatum then had 17 factors within the second and Boston stored pulling away, on a day the place all the pieces went the Celtics’ means. They realized earlier within the day that two starters — Horford (virus-related points) and Smart (mid-foot sprain) — have been cleared to play in Game 2 after lacking the collection opener.
“I got to get my rest, got to get my health back, got to watch and see some things and come out and execute in this game,” Smart stated.
And the excellent news stored coming properly into the night time.
Butler did all he might to try to manufacture a comeback, scoring 16 factors within the third quarter and getting the Heat inside 17. But a 12-2 run late within the quarter by the Celtics restored a 27-point edge. The lead was 96-71 going into the fourth and the result was by no means remotely near being in query the remainder of the best way.
Miami didn’t even use its starters within the fourth quarter.
Celtics: Technically, Boston had one different “road” sport with a much bigger halftime lead. The Celtics have been the designated customer on Sept. 7, 2020 — within the bubble at Walt Disney World — after they led Toronto by 27 on the break. … With Horford again, Grant Williams returned to his off-the-bench function. … Tatum bought his second foul with 4:14 left within the first, after charging into Butler. The entirety of the 17-0 run got here with him on the bench.
Heat: Kyle Lowry (hamstring) sat for the eighth time within the final 10 video games. … It was the primary sport since Dallas-Atlanta on Feb. 1, 2020 wherein each groups had a 10-point lead within the first quarter…. P.J. Tucker had Miami’s first 5 factors, all within the sport’s first 51 seconds. It was his 863rd profession sport, the primary wherein he had 5 factors within the first minute. Those have been his solely factors of the night time, and he left within the third quarter with a left knee contusion.
This Boston workforce is the sixth membership within the final 25 years to have two separate video games the place it led by at the very least 25 factors in Miami in the identical season. The Celtics additionally did it on Nov. 4. The different groups who pulled it off: Milwaukee final season (gained NBA title), San Antonio in 2013-14 (gained NBA title), Boston in 2007-08 (gained NBA title), Toronto (2007-08) and Charlotte (2000-01).
500 AND COUNTING
The Heat introduced their five hundredth consecutive sellout, excluding video games affected by the pandemic. Only Dallas (867 and counting), Portland (814 from 1977 by 1995), Boston (662 from 1980 by 1995) and Chicago (610 from 1987 by 2000) have streaks that the NBA counts as being longer.
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