The Miami Heat claimed a win in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference finals with the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night.
The Celtics came racing out of the blocks as Marcus Smart’s shooting proved to be a problem – it would be all night. Miami, on the other hand found it very difficult to put the ball in the hole and registered their lowest-scoring quarter in the playoffs with just 18 points as they went into the second trailing by 12.
The Heat improved drastically, going from their lowest-scoring quarter in the postseason to their best shooting quarter, going 68% from the floor. Miami would record an even lower third-quarter output with just 16 and began the fourth quarter with the Celtics leading 83-71.
Miami ground the scoreline to get to within four on two occasions and Tyler Herro would cut it to three with a huge three-pointer with 3:12 to go. Another Herro three brought the lead to within two with just over a minute left before another three, this time from Jimmy Butler, gave the Heat a one-point lead with 22 seconds left. Derrick Jones Jr. was unfortunate to run into Marcus Smart during an inbound and Jayson Tatum hit the foul shot awarded because the ball was out of play, tying the game at 106 apiece.. The foul also meant the Celtics would keep possession but Tatum could hit the three to hand his team the win and the contest went into overtime.
A choppy overtime period would end with a defensive play. With the Heat leading by two and 12 seconds on the clock, Bam Adebayo rose to meet Tatum in the air for a clutch block on a play that would have otherwise resulted in a thunderous dunk.
Adebayo hit one of his two free throws after he was fouled and Tatum again failed to hit a three that would have tied the game as time expired.
Goran Dragic led the Heat in scoring on the night, logging 29 points along with 7 rebounds and four assists. Jae Crowder scored 22 while Butler registered 20. Herro was a single assist shy of a triple-double, posting 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 9 assists.
Tatum, meanwhile, saw his 30-point night marred by missed late shots and, of course, that block.
The teams will square up again for Game 2 on Thursday night.