Celtics 102-128 Heat (22 May, 2023) Game Recap

MIAMI — — Erik Spoelstra had his staff absolutely anticipating that Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals can be extraordinarily troublesome, that the Miami Heat have been going to must take the most effective shot {that a} determined bunch of Boston Celtics may muster.

He was improper.

It was a Heat romp — and a staff that needed to pull off a frantic rally simply to make the playoffs is now one win from the NBA Finals.

Gabe Vincent scored a career-high 29 factors, Duncan Robinson added 22 and the eighth-seeded Heat rolled previous the Celtics 128-102 on Sunday night time. Miami leads the sequence 3-0, with an opportunity to complete off a surprising sweep on Tuesday night time at dwelling in Game 4,

“That was a solid, mature, professional approach,” stated Spoelstra, now getting ready to a sixth journey to the NBA Finals as Miami’s coach. “There’s a lot of pent-up stuff here and we’re getting closer, but we still have to finish this off.”

Caleb Martin scored 18, Jimmy Butler completed with 16, Bam Adebayo had 13 and Max Strus added 10 for Miami. Every staff in NBA historical past that has gained the primary three video games of a best-of-seven has in the end prevailed; the Heat are 8-0 in that scenario.

“The rim was as big as the ocean for everybody,” Adebayo stated, after Miami shot 57%.

Jayson Tatum scored 14 and Jaylen Brown added 12 for the second-seeded Celtics, who gained thrice on Miami’s ground on the best way to successful final season’s East finals — however merely by no means had an opportunity on this one and principally emptied the bench for the fourth quarter.

“I just didn’t have them ready to play,” stated Boston coach Joe Mazzulla, who has been the topic of tons of criticism on this sequence — and can absolutely face extra going into Tuesday. “Whatever it was, whether it was the starting lineup or an adjustment, I have to get them in a better place, ready to play. That’s on me.”

Grant Williams and Payton Pritchard every added 12 for Boston.

“To their credit, they’re playing well above their means,” Brown stated. “They’re ballin’ right now and I’ve got to give them respect. Gabe Vincent, Martin, Strus, Duncan Robinson, guys that we should be able to keep under control are playing their (butt) off.”

The NBA Finals begin June 1, and the best way issues are going, that may imply the league is about to go just a few days with out video games. The Western Conference finals may finish Monday; Denver leads that sequence in opposition to the Los Angeles Lakers 3-0. And now, the East finals may finish Tuesday.

“It’s the first to four games,” Vincent stated. “We’re not satisfied with three.”

There’s by no means been a season the place each convention finals led to sweeps; it occurred in 1957 within the division finals instantly previous the title sequence, when Boston beat Syracuse 3-0 and St. Louis beat Minneapolis 3-0.

Of all of the 3-0 sequence leads in NBA historical past, this one is likely to be probably the most sudden — a No. 8 seed within the Heat, a staff that struggled simply to get into the playoffs, a staff that was lower than 3 minutes away from being eradicated within the play-in match, getting previous top-seeded Milwaukee in 5 video games, then fifth-seeded New York in six, and now getting ready to denying the Celtics a second consecutive East crown.

And the Heat let Boston know how a lot they have been having fun with this one.

Mindful that Boston’s Al Horford directed a timeout sign towards the Miami bench throughout Game 1 when the Celtics have been on a second-quarter spurt to construct a cushty lead, Butler did the identical to Horford because the Heat have been working away within the third quarter of Game 3.

Besides, the Heat rallied to win Game 1 anyway. There was no rally required in Game 3 by the Heat. There was barely one tried by the Celtics, for that matter.

“I don’t even know where to start,” Brown stated. “It’s an obvious letdown. I feel like we let our fan base, organization down. We let ourselves down. And it was collective. We can point fingers, but in reality, it was just embarrassing.”

Boston obtained inside 61-49 when Marcus Smart had a three-point play on the opening possession of the second half. The relaxation was all Miami, which instantly answered with a 28-7 run to open a 33-point lead at 89-56, which had the constructing rolling. The lead was so massive, and there was a lot time left, that the sellout crowd of 20,088 truly was subdued a bit by the point it was over.

They may need been yelled-out. Or possibly they have been saving it for hockey on Monday night time, when the Florida Panthers — one other No. 8 seed on a magical playoff run in South Florida — will attempt to take a 3-0 lead of their East finals sequence in opposition to the Carolina Hurricanes.

“We’ll decompress tomorrow,” Spoelstra stated, “but we’ll really get our minds right to finish this thing off.”


Celtics: Robert Williams made his first shot, which means he made 12 straight to begin the sequence. He missed his second try. … The Heat encourage followers to put on white to playoff video games, and Tatum additionally arrived in an all-white swimsuit.

Heat: Robinson made 5 3-pointers and now has 124 in his Heat postseason profession, passing LeBron James (123) for probably the most in Miami historical past. … Butler’s steal with 7:17 left within the first quarter was the 2,000th in Heat postseason historical past. … Vincent’s earlier profession greatest was 28, set in a Jan. 12 win over Milwaukee.


Miami’s Kevin Love checked out 4:47 into the sport after what the Heat stated was an undisclosed ankle damage. He went to the Heat locker room for analysis, returned to the bench space later within the first half, however didn’t return to the sport.


“The lack of mental toughness. It’s embarrassing … that was an embarrassment for the Celtics.” — TNT’s Charles Barkley at halftime, with Boston trailing 61-46 and after being down by as many as 22 factors.


AP NBA: and–Sports

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