The Heat won Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals thanks to a fantastic Butler who scored 41 points.
Jimmy Butler, imperial with 41 points, and a defense found in the second half allowed the Heat to win (118-107) a first victory at the expense of Boston in their Eastern Conference final on Tuesday in the NBA play-offs.
It was a two-faced meeting that Miami was awarded with forceps, roughed up in the first period by Boston and Jayson Tatum then on a cloud, before brutally bringing them back to earth and overturning everything in the third quarter (39 -14), regaining his usual combativeness and roughness.
“We had to react, that’s what made things change. We had to play hard. We made a lot of effort. It was a drag all game against these guys. And it will be the same every time we meet.”commented Butler, after having planted 27 points during the last 24 minutes (9 rebounds, 5 assists).
The reaction of pride from the Floridians had the effect of an explosion from which the C’s never really recovered, who nevertheless led serenely by eight units at the break (62-54) and found themselves relegated twelve minutes later. at 17 lengths (93-76).
Tatum, who had been on fire in the first two quarters with 21 points, the best total of his career in the play-offs, registered only two free throws during the third. He finished with 29 pawns (8 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals).
The winger obviously did not deserve, but he ended up suffocated. Ditto for Jaylen Brown, yet very present (24 pts, 10 rebounds), and Payton Pritchard, effective off the bench (18 pts).
Because in the Heat’s scorching 3rd quarter, Butler chained 13 points and gave the defense. He also finished with 4 interceptions and 3 blocks, including one that answered the one Tatum had inflicted on him a few minutes earlier, symbolizing his advantage taken in this duel in the match.
“I continued to play basketball the right way. To put open shots. I challenged every shot Jayson made, trying not to foul him because he’s very tricky.”summed up the leader of the Heat.
There were counterattacks on all sides in this match, 20 in total, 12 for Miami including 9 in the second half, 8 for Boston. Enough to make it a Top 10, as they were almost all spectacular.
In this game, Bam Adebayo was the most dissuasive with 4 “blocks”, failing to be prolific in attack (10 pts), after having been jostled for a long time by Robert Williams III (18 pts, 9 rebounds), who hurt his leg and didn’t finish the game.
An additional blow for the Celtics, who had already had to pass for this first match of Marcus Smart, hit on one foot, and Al Horford, entered under Covid protocol. Without them, their defense did not have the same weight.
Miami has in fact had a response in attack, like Tyler Herro, who has given back his costume as the 6th best man of the season (18 pts, 8 rebounds), and Gabe Vincent (17 pts) making us forget the absence of Kyle Lowry (hamstring).
After being knocked out standing, the Celtics finished better but did not come close enough to prevent defeat.
“We lost our temper in the 3rd quarter. Cashing in a 39-14 by scoring only 2 out of 15 baskets is difficult to overcome. It was physical. They imposed their will. In the 4th we got back to eight, nine points and they increased their intensity again. That’s what made all the difference.”regretted the coach Ime Udoka, frustrated to lose having won three of the four periods of the match.
What floor for some adjustments for the game N.2 Thursday.