Miami Heat hold off Boston Celtics despite losing Jimmy Butler in Game 3 2nd half
The Miami Heat have fended off the Boston Celtics in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals despite losing Jimmy Butler in the second half.
The Miami Heat were able to hold on and manage a 109-103 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals after losing standout forward Jimmy Butler in the second half. The Heat ruled out the return of Butler in the third quarter due to an inflamed knee.
Adebayo fills the gap
Big man Bam Adebayo stepped up and delivered in the 32-year-old’s absence, giving his best performance of the playoffs by leading the team with 31 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, and four steals.
Miami started off strong, blazing with a 26-point lead over the host Celtics, evoking boos from the hometown crowd. The home team staged a rally after Butler was sidelined, cutting the lead down to 93-92. But the Heat put their defense on lockdown, forcing turnovers that had been the bane of the Celtics throughout the game.
Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 40 points, while Al Hereford and Marcus Smart had a combined total of 36 points, 18 rebounds, and 10 assists. Jayson Tatum had a lackluster offensive performance, delivering only 10 points, as well as six rebounds and four assists.
P.J. Tucker and Max Strus combined for a total of 33 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks for Miami. The win gives the Heat a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals series.
Before the end of the game, there was more good news for the team- it was reported that Butler was likely to recover from the injury and play in Monday’s matchup.
The Heat will be looking to have a dominant 3-1 lead in Game 4.