March 31, 2023

It was about attempting to maintain up: the Boston Celtics have been scoring at a tempo that would take a look at the Miami Warmth on their finest and healthiest nights.

With Boston averaging 121.3 factors per sport, together with 130.7 within the final three video games and 126 at residence this season, it was about greater than Eric Spoelstra’s zombie zone protection functionality that terrorized opponents within the final three matches. His workforce carried the successful streak into the evening.

It was a case of how excessive the Warmth can go together with Jimmy Butler’s continued damage free.

The response was excessive sufficient, however not excessive sufficient: Jason Tatum hit 49 on Wednesday evening to steer the Celtics to a 134-121 win at TD Backyard.

“It is a bar,” Spoelstra mentioned as his workforce returned to the Celtics court docket on Friday evening, “and now we have to determine methods to get previous it to win.

“We’ll simply go to work tomorrow and determine it out.”

Oh, there have been performs, splashes, rushes for the Warmth, that evening Bam Adebayo hit 23, Max Strus 23 and Tyler Herro 22, however the league-leading Celtics simply winked and saved upping the ante.

To place into perspective the great struggle the Warmth put collectively, think about Spoelstra’s season-high 18 3s, and Haywood Highsmith got here off the bench to make 4 of 6 3s for a career-high 16 factors. .

So make it 1-1 on this four-game journey that began with Sunday’s win over the Atlanta Hawks and ended with Monday evening’s sport towards the Memphis Grizzlies.

“We scored within the wheelhouse,” Adebayo mentioned. “We simply must make it to the opposite finish.”

5 levels warmth from Wednesday’s sport:

1. Closing time: In a tumultuous first half, the Warmth have been 14 behind at the beginning of the sport, trailed by 10 within the second interval, after which trailed 68-60 at halftime.

In all that point, Tatum scored 41 factors in three quarters, the Celtics led 102–96 within the fourth spherical, and Strus scored 19 factors within the third for the Warmth.

“I assumed we have been competing towards one another,” Herro mentioned.

The Warmth then moved inside two at the beginning of the fourth, however have been compelled to name the time as Boston went up 116–108 with 7:09 to play.

Then, because the Warmth closed the hole, Tatum referred to as again along with his ninth 3-pointer to present the Celtics a 131–121 lead with 1:39 left.

“We have been there till that final skirmish,” Spoelstra mentioned.

Adebayo was then despatched off with a double technical foul 24 seconds earlier than the sport, stating that officers refused to contact him straight about calls made towards him.

2. Wild begin: The Warmth opened within the zone, but it surely did not final lengthy, with Boston opening 5 of 5 from the sphere to take a 14–2 lead and drive a 2:10 timeout from the Warmth within the sport.

The Celtics’ second possession was Tatum’s four-point play, which resulted in a foul by Adebayo within the 56th second.

Boston then went to 7-of-7 area targets and 5-of-5 on 3-pointers, extending their result in 14.

The Celtics’ first miss was Tatum’s 15-foot jumper with 8:22 left on the primary.

However from that time on, Adebayo hit the primary 3-pointer since January 25, 2021 to equalize at 25:25, with an help from Kyle Lowry giving the Warmth a 27:25 lead with 4:07 left within the first interval, forcing the Celtics to take day trip.

The interval ended with the Celtics 38–35.

“I’m not interested by our resilience, resilience or resilience,” Spoelstra mentioned. “We’re growing it.”

3. We work with our backs: The Warmth had three gamers from the group that missed Sunday’s victory over the Atlanta Hawks at the beginning of this four-game journey.

They included backup level guard Gabe Vincent, who missed 5 of the earlier six video games with a left knee effusion, and defenseman Duncan Robinson, who missed the earlier three video games with a sprained left ankle.

As well as, rookie large man Nikola Jovic was out there after lacking Sunday’s sport with plantar fasciitis in his proper foot.

Nevertheless, backup heart Dewayne Dedmon was eradicated, who was ultimately compelled to take a seat down with left foot plantar fasciitis that lasted a number of weeks.

Regardless of Jovic being listed as out there, Udonis Haslem performed as a backup heart in Dedmon’s absence.

“Nico has ache in his foot and groin,” Spoelstra mentioned, “so he’s coping with a number of totally different points. And I felt like we would have liked somewhat extra expertise on this sport with out Duane.”

4. Again to this: When the groups meet once more on Friday on the TD Backyard, will probably be the fourth time the Warmth have confronted the identical opponent on the similar location in consecutive video games this season. The earlier 3 times have been in Miami, the place the Warmth cut up with the Toronto Raptors and beat the Charlotte Hornets and the Washington Wizards.

Butler is anticipated to return to the Warmth on Thursday after lacking the final seven video games with knee ache, after which play on Friday.

However there stays the issue of Tatum, who performs on the MVP stage.

“Nice gamers develop and that is what he does,” Spoelstra mentioned. “And what he makes you do is stage up.”

5. Members of the royal household: In an atypical pre-match press launch, the Celtics introduced that “Their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales are attending right now’s NBA sport between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Warmth at TD Backyard.

The 2 sat on the court docket subsequent to the Celtics bench, together with Vic Groesbeck (Celtics managing accomplice), Emilia Fazzalari, Steve Paluca (Celtics co-owner), Judy Paluca, former Celtic Tom “Sutch” Sanders, Mayor Michelle Wu of Boston and the elected governor of Massachusetts. Maura Healy.


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