Winner of the Celtics in Game 3 tonight, the Heat notably surfed on an ultra-dominant start to the match to build their 109-103 success. But as the game progressed, the adversity grew and so did the pressure inflicted by Boston (and the referees). But Erik Spoelstra’s men did not crack!
When Marcus Smart came out of the locker room to a standing ovation after his ankle injury and then planted a 3-pointer in the corner, we thought the game was about to turn in favor of Boston. Led by 26 pawns during the first period, the Celtics found themselves only ten units away with all the momentum in the world in their favor, moreover in a boiling hot TD Garden. Many teams would logically have sunk from this precise moment, especially without the presence of their best player. But not Miami. While Jimmy Butler was out for the entire second period, the Heat resisted the green wave for the first time. From Victor Oladipo to Bam Adebayo via Kyle Lowry, PJ Tucker or even Tyler Herro (who had a difficult evening but who scored four of his eight points at the end of the third quarter), the band of Erik Spoelstra remarkably left weather the storm to regain control of operations. The Heat returned to the field in the second period with a 15-point advantage, they finished the third quarter with a 15-point advantage, despite the many reversals that took place during these twelve crazy minutes.
The second big wave from Boston came in the fourth quarter. Carried in particular by a Jaylen Brown on fire and by the return of a Jayson Tatum who performed his best imitation of Paul Pierce (exit on injury then miraculous return a few minutes later…), the Celtics managed to come back to a small point of Miami with less than three minutes to play. Once again, we said to ourselves that it did not smell very good for the residents of Sud Plage, Boston having never been so close to taking the lead in this Game 3. But once again, Bam Adebayo and his friends resisted . With the heart obviously, but not only. Thanks to the execution too, as well as the talent and this ability to make the big plays at the right time. At only +1 on the scoreboard, Miami planted the killer shot on this service from Lowry to Max Strus (16 points), author of a crucial award-winning shot out of the screen after a screen from Adebayo. And then it was the latter who broke the hearts of Celtics fans with a dagger on the head of Al Horford at the end of the 24-second clock, to give Floridians a six-point lead. Boston never managed to recover, the Heat then closing the shop by being skilful on the free throw line and thanks to a huge interception by Kyle Lowry (one of… 19 made by Miami), interception which symbolizes the match perfectly.
This is a perfect clip to encapsulate the Celtics sloppiness this game, Lowry with great hustle to steal the ball off the inbounds and finds Strus for the layup. 24 total turnovers for 33 Heat points, 19 live ball turnovers. pic.twitter.com/HGRdHvh9Oe
— Mo Dakhil (@MoDakhil_NBA) May 22, 2022
This victory is a 100% Heat basketball victory. This is the victory of a group that did not crack when everything was in place for it to collapse. To quickly sum up the thing for you: Jimmy Butler out in the second half, a tough and diminished Tyler Herro, a hostile environment, the Celtics in revolt, Kyle Lowry and PJ Tucker who weren’t sure they were playing, all that with in addition to the referees who obviously wanted to witness a tight end to the game given the whistles that were given (30 free throws for Boston, only 14 for Miami, including nine in the last minute when the C’s had to foul) or forgotten in this encounter. Whatever in the end, Miami managed to overcome all that brilliantly, proving once again the mental solidity of this team. perfectly prepared for the big matches of the Playoffs. That’s what veterans like Lowry (11 points, 6 assists, 4 steals) and Tucker (17 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals) can be used for, two guys with champion DNA and whose impact is huge despite not being 100% today. That’s why Pat Riley wanted to give a chance to Victor Oladipo, hyper valuable through his defense after the exit of Jimmy Butler. This is why Bam Adebayo is paid 30 million a year, he who stepped up in a big way after a complicated start to the series. That’s why the Miami Heat is the Miami Heat, a franchise that is now just two wins away from qualifying for the NBA Finals for the past three seasons. #HeatCulture
Unrecognizable during Game 2 at home two days ago, the Heat regained all their colors this Saturday. A boss reaction despite the not really favorable circumstances that accompanied this meeting. Some teams just know how to win, and Miami is one of them.