Miami Heat Overcome 13-Point Deficit to Secure Game 1 Win in Eastern Conference Finals Against Boston Celtics
Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat turned the tide of Game 1 against the Boston Celtics, outscoring them 46-25 in the third quarter to take home a 123-116 win and steal home-court advantage in the Eastern Conference finals. Illuminating their impressive display, guard Marcus Smart recorded 10 assists in the first half before having only one in the second, illustrating the importance of ball movement for Boston.
Jayson Tatum had a harder time adjusting to Miami's defensive switch scheme, as his touches and dribbles in the fourth quarter were among his lowest in the postseason. Coach Joe Mazzulla said, "You have to fight for advantages. You got to fight to create separation," while Tatum said the Celtics need "to slow down a little bit in those moments."
Gabe Vincent said that the feeling in the Heat's locker room after the win was "not satisfied," but Kyle Lowry had a different idea about their confidence moving into Game 2. "You listen to Jimmy, right?" said Lowry, illustrating the impact Butler has had on Miami on their run to the NBA Finals. It will be interesting to see if the Heat can capitalize on their series-opening victory and capture a 2-0 lead, or if the Celtics can use history as their guide to pull off a massive comeback.