Erica Denhoff/ALOST


akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

BOSTON — The most unsurprising development unfolded inside TD Garden on Wednesday night, with three-pointers raining down from start to finish in yet another shooting extravaganza that fans have witnessed inside of that arena all season long.

What did come as a major shock, however, were the hands releasing those shots, as the Miami Heat pulled an epic role reversal in turning what many suggested would be another home rout into a stunning away victory that has forced an even series.

Tyler Herro had six of Miami’s 23 three-pointers, a new franchise playoff record, on his way to 24 points and 14 assists as the Heat — sans Jimmy Butler — stunned the top-seeded Boston Celtics 111-101 to tie the Eastern Conference first round series at one game apiece. Caleb Martin and Bam Adebayo each had 21 points as each Miami starter scored in double figures. Four of those five starters made at least three three-pointers, with Jamie Jaquez Jr. and Nikola Jovic making three apiece.

On one hand, a Heat victory shouldn’t be that much of a shock, since the last 16 playoff games between the two teams, which include the conference finals from both 2022 and 2023, are split down the middle with eight wins each. Furthermore, tonight’s win now improves the Heat to 10-3 in Game 2s after losing Game 1 under head coach Erik Spoelstra. But without the lynchpin who spearheaded so many of those wins, Butler, Miami continued to prove that “Heat Culture” is much more than just an epigraph or a Twitter hashtag: it’s a real, sentient, mystical power that continues to make many of their teams greater than the sum of their parts.

After the Heat took a one-point lead into the second quarter at 28-27, they took the Celtics’ best punch in the second, as Boston scored 34 points and knocked down six threes of their own. Miami only trailed by three at the break despite that, making 5-of-9 from three in the quarter, part of the team’s concerted effort to increase their volume from three after the Celtics went 22-of-49 from beyond the arc in running away from Miami in Sunday’s Game 1.

Miami nailed six more threes in the third, yet it was their defense that allowed it to first take control of the game, holding the Celtics to just 6-for-18 from the field. Herro’s three at the 5:54 mark of the quarter started a 10-0 run, which included a Haywood Highsmith three and back-to-back layups from Martin to give the Heat an 82-70 advantage.

Martin also hit the biggest shot of the game in the fourth when Boston rallied one last time. Jayson Tatum completed a three-point play for Boston that cut its deficit to 102-96 with 3:16 remaining before Martin, off of Herro’s 14th and final assist, buried his fifth three-pointer of the evening, a shot from the left wing to restore Miami’s nine-point advantage while silencing the TD Garden crowd

Boston attempted 17 fewer threes than they launched in Game 1 while making just 12 of those 32 attempts. Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 61 points, with Brown leading all scorers with 33. The rest of the starting lineup struggled from the floor, particularly Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis, who went a combined 5-of-21 from the field. Porzingis, who had 18 points in Game 1, went 1-of-9 from the field and scored just six points while missing all four of his three-point attempts tonight.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Wednesday evening’s game, with photos taken by ALOST staff photographer Erica Denhoff. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 38 pictures in total.

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Tags : Boston CelticsMiami HeatNational Basketball AssociationNBA Playoffs

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