May 22, 2024

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Boston Celtics secure 2-1 lead after Game 3 victory against Miami Heat

4 min read
FIRST-ROUND LEAD. Boston Celtics secure a 2-1 lead after routing the Miami Heat, 104-84, in Game 3 of their first-round series on Saturday night (Sunday, April 28, Philippine time). BOSTON CELTICS PHOTO

The Boston Celtics came into Game 3 against the Miami Heat with a singular purpose—to reassert their dominance and regain control of their first-round playoff series. 

After a disappointing loss at home in Game 2, the Celtics were determined to set the tone early and never let up en route to securing a 104-84 win on Saturday night (Sunday, April 28, Philippine time). 

From the tip-off, Boston brought an intensity that Miami struggled to match. The Celtics’ defense suffocated the Heat’s offense, disrupting their rhythm and forcing turnovers. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown led the charge with their scoring and all-around play, setting the tempo for their team.

Boston’s defense was relentless, exemplified by their ability to limit Miami’s scoring options. Without key starters Jimmy Butler and Terry Rozier due to injuries, the Heat faced an uphill battle against a focused Celtics squad. Bam Adebayo tried to keep Miami afloat with his scoring inside, but the Celtics’ defense swarmed him, denying easy baskets and frustrating the Heat’s offense.

The turning point came midway through the second quarter when Miami attempted to mount a comeback. Tyler Herro, known for his scoring prowess, had an open look from beyond the arc that could have narrowed the deficit. However, his shot rimmed out, and Boston seized the opportunity to extend their lead.

The Celtics responded with a decisive run, outscoring the Heat and effectively putting the game out of reach before halftime. By the break, Boston held a commanding lead of 63-39, a testament to their dominance on both ends of the floor.

Coach Erik Spoelstra acknowledged Boston’s physicality and defensive prowess, admitting that the Celtics dictated the game’s tempo and disrupted Miami’s offensive sets. The Heat struggled to find open looks and were constantly hounded by Boston’s tenacious defense.

In the second half, the Celtics didn’t let up. They continued to execute their game plan flawlessly, maintaining a substantial lead throughout. Their performance showcased the resilience and determination that has defined their season, particularly their ability to bounce back after a loss.

For Boston, this victory wasn’t just about tying the series—it was a statement. The Celtics demonstrated their championship pedigree and highlighted their depth and versatility. With contributions from Kristaps Porzingis and Derrick White complementing the efforts of Tatum and Brown, Boston showcased a balanced attack that overwhelmed Miami.

As the series shifts to Miami for Game 4, the Celtics have regained the momentum and hold a 2-1 series lead. They have proven that they can win on the road and are poised to continue their strong play. Meanwhile, the Heat must regroup and find answers to counter Boston’s suffocating defense if they hope to even the series.

The Celtics’ wire-to-wire victory in Game 3 served notice to the rest of the league—they are a force to be reckoned with and are determined to make a deep playoff run. With their collective mindset and defensive prowess, Boston has established itself as a formidable contender in the Eastern Conference.

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