The Boston Celtics were able to stay alive in the Eastern Conference Finals as they took down the Miami Heat, 116-99, in Game 4 after facing a potential sweep.
There’s still lots of work to do, as no NBA team has ever won a series after being down 3-0 before. Yet, Celtics stars Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart gave the Heat a warning prior to Game 4, saying, “Don’t let us win tonight.”
They backed it up, and a major reason was a hot second-half start.
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A hot third quarter saw the Celtics win the frame by a 15-point margin after being down 56-50 at halftime. They kept the momentum going in the fourth, and the series will now head back to Boston for Game 5 on Thursday night.
Jayson Tatum, who struggled in Game 3 from the field, did much better with the ball in his hands in this one. He was a key reason why the Celtics stormed back, hitting 6-of-his-8 shots to aid in Boston’s 14-of-22 from the field in the third quarter.
On the other hand, the Heat couldn’t match that offensive production, as they went 7-for-21 in the third.
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Miami has shown their ability to burst back in the fourth quarter, which they did in Game 2 of this series to shock the Celtics, but Boston learned from that mistake. They won the quarter 28-20 and staved off a season-ending defeat for the time being.
Tatum finished the game with 34 points on 14-of-22 from the field, including 5-of-9 from three-point land, while hauling in 11 rebounds and dishing out seven assists. He also provided one steal and two blocks on the defensive side of the ball.
Every Celtics starter had double-digit points, including Brown (16) and Smart (11). Derrick White (16) and Al Horford (12) each knocked down three three-pointers as well.
Grant Williams was also able to drop 14 points off the bench for Boston while adding six boards and two assists.
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Jimmy Butler was the Heat’s leading scorer with 29 points, 10 of which came at the charity stripe. He had nine rebounds to lead the team as well.
Gabe Vincent had 17 points, while Caleb Martin had 16 off the bench for Miami.
The Heat were inefficient from beyond the arc, which is uncharacteristic for them this postseason. They shot just 25% with 8-of-32 three-pointers made.
Game 5 will tip off in Boston at 8:30 p.m. ET, where the Denver Nuggets, who swept the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, continue to wait for their NBA Finals opponent.