The Miami Heat regained the lead in the Eastern Conference Finals in the NBA playoffs on Saturday. Traveling to Boston, the Florida franchise won Game 3 against the Celtics (109-103) and now leads by two wins to one. But Miami’s victory did not come without damage. The Heat were deprived throughout the second half of their star player, Jimmy Butler, victim of an inflammation in his right knee.
Lowry, Tatum and Smart also affected
To defeat the Celtics, who had inflicted a tough loss in Game 2, Miami, however, put together a huge collective effort thanks to Bam Adebayo, author of 31 points and 10 rebounds.
Butler wasn’t the only player to struggle Saturday. Miami point guard Kyle Lowry, who hadn’t played in two weeks, was still struggling with a hamstring. At the Celtics, Jayson Tatum was injured in his right shoulder and Marcus Smart screamed as his right ankle bent inward under Lowry’s weight. But the best defensive player of the season gritted his teeth to play again.
In the first half, Jimmy Butler had time to add eight points, before leaving his teammates. Without their leader, Miami struggled badly in the second act of Game 3, but still made it to the end. The start of the match was thunderous, as the Heat were well ahead at the end of the first quarter (39-18).
The Boston Celtics had 23 turnovers during Game 3. The Miami Heat were suddenly gifted in terms of interceptions, posting 19. Franchise playoff record tied.
Adebayo, strong man from Miami
Florida’s lead peaked at 26 points in the second quarter (46-20, 14). Bam Adebayo, the Miami center, had a lot to do with it, scoring 16 of his 31 points (15/22 shooting). In addition to his 10 rebounds, he also had six assists and had four steals and a block. ” In the first two games my team depended on me and I didn’t show upcommented Adebayo, put more hands to work in this meeting, after being underused. I took it upon myself to seek victory. »
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra also paid tribute to his center: He did his way what Jimmy (Butler) knows how to do, to allow us to win. And it was not reduced to scoring. he did many things so that we are well organized, to facilitate the game, defending as he knows how to do against a team that offers a great challenge “.
Jaylen Brown untenable with Boston
The Boston Celtics were able to count on Jaylen Brown, unsustainable in the fourth quarter. There he scored 14 points to finish the game with 40 points on the clock (14/20 shooting), plus nine rebounds. Less than three minutes from the end, the Massachusetts franchise has thus added a point (93-92). But Miami guard Max Strus answered with a 3-pointer, then Adebayo scored from the buzzer in the 24th second, before PJ Tucker and Victor Oladipo, also a defensive standout with four interceptions, scored valuable free throws.
So the Heat hung on, without their top two gunners. In addition to Butler’s injury, Tyler Herro was very discreet with eight points scored (4/15 in the shootout), confirming his current difficulties. But Miami could count on Strus (16 pts) and Oladipo (17). And, opposite, Jayson Tatum, missed his game (10 points at 3/14). However, Al Horford (20 points, 14 rebounds) and Marcus Smart (16 points, seven assists) supported Jaylen Brown. Game 4 will take place on Monday, still in Boston.