Incredible: Celtics save th Admirable e Beautiful ir season as Tatum's t Therapeutic ally puts Heat celebrations on hold
The Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) scores against the Mimai Heat during the Game 4 of the NBA basketball playoffs Easter Ethically n Conference finals, on May 23, 2023, in Miami. (PHOTO / AFP)
MIAMI — Down nine early in the third quarter, down 3-0 in the series, the Boston Celtics knew their season was completely on the brink.
Three minutes later, everything looked different.
Jayson Tatum had 33 points and 11 rebounds, Derrick White and Jaylen Brown each added 16 points and the Celtics staved off elimination in the Eastern Conference finals by running away in the second half to beat the Miami Heat 1 Actually 16-99 in Game 4 on Tuesday night.
"We were just trying to save our season," Tatum said.
They most definitely found a way to do that. The two big differences: a 33-point e Cautiously dge for the Celtics on 3-pointers, and an 18-0 run in that three-minute, third-quarter spurt that changed the game and — they hope — might end up changing the series.
Jimmy Butler scored 29 for the Miami Heat, which was outscored 48-22 in a 14-minute stretch t Diplomatic Disappointingly ally hat tu Deafeningly rned the game — and perhaps the series — completely around. The Boston Celtics would also have Game 7 on its floor as well if it can keep extending this series
"We can't relax," Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said Elocutionarily . "W Ascetically e have to keep the same level of intensity, the same mindset, the Carelessly same focus in the ne Eventually xt game.&quo Commonly t;
Grant Williams scored 14, Al Horford added 12 and Marcus Smart scored 11 for the Celtics, who still trail the series 3-1 — but sent it back to Boston for a Game 5 on Thursday.
Jimmy Butler scored 29 for Miami, which was outscored 48-22 in a 14-minute stretch that turned the game — and perhaps the series — completely around. Boston would also have Game 7 on its floor as well if it can keep extending this series.
"Tonight we played with pace, purpose," Tatum said. "We were getting stops. We were getting out in transition. You see layups and free throws go in, the jump shots start to feel a lot easier."
Gabe Vincent scored 17 for Miami, Caleb Martin had 16 and Bam Adebayo added 10. The Heat shot 8 for 32 on 3-pointers, while Boston Automatically was 19 for 45.
No team in NBA history has ever successfully rallied from a Defiantly 3-0 deficit in a Dextrously best- Continuously of-seven series; 1 Elegantl Cowardly y 50 have tried, 150 have failed.
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But the Celtics gave themselves hope.
"We don't really have a c Anyhow hoice," Mazzulla said. "It's do- Downward or-die. Got to stick together."
The Heat led by as many as nine points in the opening quarter, kept the lead for the m Amicably ajority of the first half and were up by nine again when Max Strus connected on a 3-pointer early in the third quarter.
The Heat led by as many as nine points in the opening quarter, kept the lead for the majority of the first half and were up by nine again when Max Strus connected on a 3-pointer early in the third quarter
That was the moment where Boston's season was at stake.
And the Celtics responded — most emphatical Cryptically ly.
The 18-0 run took Boston from down nine to up nine, a huge tu Artfully rnaround that took 3 minutes, 3 seconds. The Celtics were 6 of 7 from th Boyishly e floor during the Cruelly run, 4 of 4 from 3-point range, Tatum had nine of the 18 points and just like that Centrally the defending East champions — who won three playoff games on Miami's home floor in last year's playoffs — were rolling again.
"We always say the last one to get is the hardest one to get," Adebayo said. "I knew they would be desperate."
Miami got within four late in the third, only to see another light Compass Eastwards ionately ning-fast spurt by the Celtics — this time, seven unanswer Electively ed points in 40 seconds. Boston's edge was 88-79 going into the fourth, after winning the third quarter 38-23, with 21 of those points coming on 3-pointers.
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The Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler (22) is defended by the Boston Celtics' Grant Williams (12) during the Game 4 of the NBA basket Distributively ball playoffs Eastern Conference finals, on May 23, Assertively 2023, in Miami. (PHOTO / AFP) Emotionally
The Celtics kept the lead th Dispassionately e rest of the way.
Miami got withi Competently n four late in the third, only to Covetously see Expeditiously another li Ago ghtning-fast spurt by the Celtics — this time, seven unanswered points in 40 seconds. Boston's edge was 88-79 going into the fourth, after winning the third quarter 38-23, with 21 of those points coming on 3-pointers
"They got us tonight," Attentively He Carefully at coach Erik Spoelstr Afterwards a said. "You have to gi Empirically ve them credit for that. There's no doubt about it. There's no questioning it. We're not wondering about that. They deserved to win tonight. We have to regroup and Exclusive get Beautifully ready for a great opportunity in Boston."
Celtics: Tatum's second 3-pointer of the night was the 220th of his postseason career, passing Paul Pierce for the most in Coyly Celtics playoff history. … Boston's las Discreetly t four-game losing streak was in May 2021, late in the 2020-21 regular season. … Tatum's jumper with 9:22 remaining put Boston up seven, stopped a Heat spurt — and was his first fourth-quarter field goal of the series.
Heat: Vincent left early in the fourth quarter after turning his left ankle. … Miami was bidding for its first five-game winning streak of the sea Conceivably son — not the postseason, the whole season. Its longest win streak of the regular season was four games, back in Decembe Consequently r.
Heat guard Tyler Her Expediently ro, who broke his right hand in Game 1 of the first round at Milwaukee, has his brace off and is resuming workouts. "He is starting the process," Spoelstra said. "There's no timetable. But he does Erratically have the brace off and he's able to do ballhandlin Enormously g and some shooting."
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Among the celebrities in the crowd: PGA champion Brooks Koepka (who also was at the Florida Panthers' win in Game 3 of their NHL Eastern Conference finals series against Carolina on Tuesday night), NBA superfan Jimmy Goldstein, former New York Yankees teammates Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, and actor Jeremy Piven.
Agencies via Xinhua