Mon, 27 Jun 2022

Jayson Tatum, Celtics bury Heat early, level series 2-2

Field Level Media
24 May 2022, 13:25 GMT+10

Jayson Tatum recorded 31 points, eight rebounds and five assists as the Boston Celtics dominated from the outset while notching a 102-82 victory over the visiting Miami Heat on Monday night to tie the Eastern Conference finals at two games apiece.

Payton Pritchard scored 14 points while Derrick White excelled with 13 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals for Boston while starting in place of injured point guard Marcus Smart.

Robert Williams III added 12 points and nine rebounds and Jaylen Brown had 12 points and seven rebounds for the Celtics. Al Horford contributed 13 rebounds and four blocked shots to go with five points for Boston.

Three reserves reached double digits for Miami. Victor Oladipo scored 23 points, Duncan Robinson tallied 14 and Caleb Martin added 12 for the Heat, who missed their first 14 shots while digging an 18-1 deficit.

Miami star Jimmy Butler had just six points on 3-of-14 shooting and struggled during 27 minutes of action. Butler departed after the first half of Game 3 on Saturday due to right knee inflammation.

Bam Adebayo scored just nine points for the Heat after putting up 31 in Game 3.

Game 5 of the best-of-seven series is Wednesday night in Miami.

Smart, who sprained his right ankle in Game 3, was ruled out approximately 70 minutes before tipoff.

The Heat shot 33.3 percent from the field and their starters scored just 18 points on combined 7-of-36 shooting (19.4 percent). Miami, which played without reserve Tyler Herro (groin), made 14 of 36 attempts from 3-point range.

Boston connected on 39.7 percent of its shots and was 8 of 34 from behind the arc. The Celtics owned a 60-39 rebounding edge.

Boston came out strong and led by 17 before Miami made its first field goal. White scored the game's first seven points and Tatum contributed nine during the burst.

The Heat finally converted on shot No. 15 when Oladipo buried a 3-pointer with 3:22 left in the period.

Miami finished the quarter with 3-of-20 shooting and trailed 29-11.

The Celtics continued to dominate in the second quarter and increased the gap to 50-23 on two free throws by Williams with 3:55 left. Boston led 57-33 at the break behind 24 points from Tatum, who tallied just 10 on 3-of-14 shooting in Game 3.

The Celtics increased the lead to 32 when Horford made two free throws to make it 69-37 with 7:26 left in the third quarter. Boston led 76-52 entering the final stanza and remained comfortably ahead throughout the period.

--Field Level Media

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