This is not over. It seemed like it, it was probable and even expected, but the Celtics have used their pride, theirs by nature, to win the fourth game in Florida and extend the series. The label of the ESPN indicated that there was a 149-0 in those qualifiers that had gone 3-0 and that, therefore, the greens would be eliminated. It’s already 150-0, since the Lakers have certified to the Nuggets that, indeed, things remain the same. Now it remains to be seen if the Heat follow the same path. For the moment, they lose an opportunity to close the tie through the front door and now head to the Garden, far from the protective wing that the Kaseya Center gives, where they have lost in their first duel in these playoffs. Before this, 6-0, a 6-1 hour that sets off alarm bells for anyone from the Heat. At the end of the day, a good fan feels insecure until they see their team go by and not the nervousness will remain so until Miami wins and goes to the Finals. If it does, clear.
The Celtics had it difficult: they fell 29-23 at the end of the first quarter and 56-50 at halftime. But they showed an extraordinary exercise in personality and survival: 38 points in the third period, a spectacular figure that they also made up for with only 23 goals received. That’s where the comeback began, in 12 minutes in which Jayson Tatum converted 14 points. The result was then 79-88. At the end of the game, from 99-116. The Heat fell to less than 100 points for the first time in the series, sank with just 43 in the entire second half and shot 8 of 32 on 3-pointers, a figure with which they could not come back from the clash and that It was embarrassingly enhanced in the second and third periods: 3 of 16. This time neither Duncan Robinson (0 of 4), nor Max Strus (1 of 5), nor Gabe Vincent (1 of 4), nor Caleb Martin (2 of 5) were the alternative. It did not have the effect of the undrafted. They collapsed. And they lost.
Jimmy Butler was not the revulsion this time either, despite his good numbers: 29 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists, with 1 steal and 1 block. He played 39 minutes and went to 20 goals in the second half, ending your encounters as you usually do when you activate the playoff modebut there was no way. He finished with -20 on track, shot 9 of 21 from the field and made 1 of 4 triples, very much in line with the rest of his team. Bam Adebayo did not work either (10+5, with just 7 shots attempted), Vincent scored 17 goals in 28 minutes despite not being successful on the triple and Martin, with more of the same, managed 16. In addition, Kevin Love contributed two triples for 6 points in the less than 12 minutes he was on track, while Kyle Lowry was not the revulsive: 5+8+6, but 2 of 8 shooting, 1 of 5 3-pointers and 4 of the Heat’s 15 turnoversanother of the variables that made the Heat inferior.
With the Celtics, Jayson Tatum re-emerged and became the best on his team, something he does intermittently, rather than constantly, during the regular season and the playoffs. That’s why maybe just maybe, the Celtics are in this situation, among many other reasons. Of course, this time the coin came out heads: 33 points (25 in the second half), 11 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks that made up for their 5 losses (only 1 in the last two quarters). The star shot 14 of 22 from the field, 4 of 9 from 3-point range and only going 2 times (1 hit) to the personal line. The entire Celtics quintet scored 10 or more points, Robert Williams came off the bench (7, discreet performance) and Grant did the same, with 14 points in scoring thanks to his 4 of 6 from the outside. A great performance from a team that wants to take refuge in the Garden again, his home, where he lost the first two games of the series. There he will try to force the sixth. And the Heat, of course, reach the Finals. We will see.