BOSTON — There was no unprecedented comeback. No miracle at the last moment. No first seed prevented the Miami Heat from playing in the NBA title series.
Eastern Conference Finals MVP Jimmy Butler scored 28 points and Caleb Martin had 26 points and 10 rebounds in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals to help the Miami Heat win 103-84 on Monday night. to the Celtics to play their second finals in four seasons.
A year after they lost Game 7 to Boston, the Heat rebounded from blowing a 3-0 series lead and advanced to face the Western Conference champion Nuggets.
Game 1 is Thursday in Denver.
“We stuck together as a group. As a team we talked about going out and getting a tough one on the road. We did that,” Butler said. “But we are not satisfied. We are excited. We are happy. But we have one more.”
Bam Adebayo had 12 points and 10 boards for Miami, which became the first eighth seed to play in the championship series since the 1999 New York Knicks. Denver, the first seed in the West, has been waiting for its rival since he swept the Lakers on May 22.
To reach the finals, the Heat had to rebound after losing in the mini-tournament to Atlanta to beat Chicago on the second chance. They then eliminated the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in five games and the fifth-seeded Knicks in six.
They got Boston into a 3-0 hole — a deficit from which no team has recovered. Three losses later, Miami was nothing short of being on the wrong end of something historic.
“Sometimes you have to suffer for the things you really want,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Game 6 hero Derrick White added 18 points for Boston, which was hoping to become the first team in history to advance after trailing 0-3 in a best-of-seven series. Jaylen Brown chipped in 19 with eight rebounds, but made just 1 of 9 3-pointers.
Jayson Tatum, who had a record 51 points in Game 7 of the conference semifinals against Philadelphia, had just 14 points and 11 rebounds after spraining his ankle on the first play of the game.
The Celtics were up by five points before the Heat responded with a 14-4 run to end the first quarter. Boston allowed Miami to score 16 of the first 22 points of the second quarter. Boston cut the deficit to seven late in the third, but Miami extended the lead to 76-66 and scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to earn the win.
The Heat took the first three games of the series—two in Boston—and needed one more to reach the Finals. None of the 150 teams that have gone on to lead 3-0 in the postseason have lost the series.
#Miami #Heat #enfrenta #Denver #Nuggets #final #nba