Jimmy drops 35 as the Heat steal Game 1 in Boston 123-116
Despite the Celtics leading by nine to start the second half, a historic third quarter, and some Jimmy Butler magic propelled the Heat to victory
The Heat and Celtics traded punches early, but it was Bam who led the Heat offense with a quick 6 points and Jimmy added 10 points of his own. The Heat role players looked solid with Caleb and and Gabe also trickling buckets of their own. On the other end as expected it was Tatum, Brown, Williams and Brogdon all causing problems for the Heat. But Miami didn’t flinch throughout the first, and were down only two headed into the second quarter.
Lowry came alive in the second putting up a quick eight points on hot shooting and putting the Heat ahead by two. He continued his hot shooting, adding another 5 points. It’s amazing how different a player Lowry is when he’s healthy, and he’s been showing how good he can be throughout these playoffs.
Despite Miami’s solid shooting, the Celtics dug in and got ahead on 10-0 run of their own towards the latter end of the quarter thanks to Tatum, Brown and Horford to take an eight point lead. The Celtics didn’t slow down turning that into an 11 point lead and swinging momentum. With Marcus Smart conducting the offense perfectly, Miami struggled to keep up. The Heat kept fighting with big shots by Gabe and a beautiful reverse by Caleb, but still found itself down by nine headed into the second half.
Marcus Smart continued to make things difficult for the Heat to start the third, but Miami would respond with some Bam offense. Strus and Love also got going from beyond the arc cutting the lead to three in seconds. With the Heat recapturing momentum Gabe and Strus and Bam all got involved, scoring well to recapture the lead. Bam turned it up a notch, staying aggressive and attacking and Kevin Love and Max Strus also came up huge with huge shots. Love coupled that with some impressive outlet passes as well.
Despite taking some haymakers, Boston didn’t keel over - but the Heat stayed consistent building its lead to 7. Jimmy continued his playoff dominance putting up 12 points in the quarter to get up to 27 points. With some big Kyle Lowry and Strus buckets as icing on the cake, the Heat took an 11 point lead into the fourth. Miami outscored the Celtics by 20 in the quarter and set a franchise record for points scored in the third.
Derrick White opened the fourth with a three to get the Celtics going and Brogdon added to that with a quick bucket of his own, and then another to get the Celtics within 5. Boston’s defense was exceptional, forcing the Heat to run down the shot clock to get decent looks. Miami would get its bearings with Gabe hitting another big shot (he might not be overly efficient, but he’s been hitting really important buckets). Caleb also got involved driving to the bucket fearlessly, to keep the Heat ahead. That coupled with Bam continuing his offensive surge kept Miami ahead, despite Brown and White wreaking havoc on the other end. Miami’s offense stalled for over three minutes, giving the Celtics a chance but Jimmy’s steals (he had six on the game) kept Miami ahead, but just barely with 2:30 remaining.
As the Celtics pushed to make a run, Miami hit some key and absurd buckets (Jimmy’s three anybody?) with 37.7 seconds remaining. The Celtics had a few instances to claw back, but Jimmy and the Heat had done too much damage, taking game 1 and stealing home court advantage yet again in spectacular fashion.
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Bucks Film Room
The 5 stages of losing to the Heat in the playoffs:
Denial: They can’t keep playing like this
Disbelief: How do they keep playing like this?
Anger: There’s no f’ing way they should be playing like this
Bargaining: They must’ve made a deal with a devil