The Miami Heat are just one step away from the NBA Finals, following their 112-109 win over the Boston Celtics.
Tyler Herro was the man of the match, with the young guard from Kentucky scoring 37 points and completely demolishing Brad Stevens’ defense. Herro was 14-for-21 from the field, 5-for-10 for three, adding six boards and three assists in 36 minutes. Heat’s 20-year old had the second-most efficient game for a player of 20 or fewer years, stopping only behind Magic Johnson.
The sharpshooting youngster led his team in the moments when counted the most, surprising the Celtics who didn’t have a proper answer for him.
After a close first that ended with Miami’s six-point lead, 50-44, the Heat turned up the volume a bit at the start of the second, getting away to 12 points, 60-48, but allowing the Cs to get back until the end of the third sequence. With 8:51 left in the fourth, Daniel Theis dunked to lift Boston to 85-84, but that turned out to be just a temporary situation, as Heat responded with seven straight points.
With three straight free-throw hits, Kemba Walker cut the deficit to two, 109-107, with 9.2 seconds to go. Yet, Jimmy Butler rebuffed that attempt scoring three hits from the lane, notching a win that puts the Heat just one step away from the direct fight for the Larry O’Brien trophy.
Erik Spoelstra had three more players besides Herro with 20+points. Goran Dragic was back in his rhythm with 22 buckets, five boards, and three assists, though, shooting a bit more inaccurate than usually, 8-for-21.
Bam Adebayo added 20 buckets, had 12 boards and four assists, 7-for-11 with six free throws made in eight attempts. Jimmy B scored 24 points, had nine boards, four of them offensive, and was 8-for-20 from the field.
A massive handicap for the Celtics was the fact that Jayson Tatum had zero points in the first half. The young forward exploded in the second dropping 28 buckets on Heat’s defense. However, him being scoreless during the first 24 minutes was something that had a massive impact on the game. Tatum added nine boards and three blocks too.
Kemba Walker had 20, with five assists and four boards while Jaylen Brown finished the night with 21, nine rebounds. Marcus Smart posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 assists. Gordon Hayward contributed with 14 off the bench.
Game 5 is this Friday.