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4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST3:00 UAE (+1)01:0019:00 ET6:00 PM CT22:00 , September 17, 2020
AdventHealth Arena, Reunion, Florida

Heat, Celtics ready for more thrills in Game 2

According to STATS
According to STATS

Miami Heat at Boston Celtics

  1. The Heat beat Boston, 117-114, in overtime in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Miami outscored the Celtics, 48-26, in the paint, holding Boston to 5-for-14 shooting in the paint in the second half and overtime.
  2. Boston has come back to win just one of the last six best-of-7 series in which it lost Game 1, coming from 2-0 down to beat the Bulls in the first round in 2017. The Celtics have gone on to lose Game 2 in all six of those series, last coming back to knot a series at 1-1 against Atlanta in 2012.
  3. Miami has won 9 of its first 10 playoff games this season and holds a 1-0 lead for the third straight series. The Heat are 17-3 all-time when winning Game 1, including 14-0 when they build a 2-0 lead.
  4. Kemba Walker's cold shooting run continued into the Eastern Conference Finals, where he shot just 1-for-9 from three. Over his last five games, Walker is 5-for-34 (.147) from behind the arc, his worst three-point percentage over five games since December 2015 (.130 from December 16 to 23, 2015).
  5. Tyler Herro (12 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists) came one assist short of a triple-double off the bench in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Herro's 11 rebounds were a career-high and his nine assists came one shy of his career-best of 10, set in the bubble against Phoenix on August 8.
  6. Boston's offense has struggled in the last three minutes of regulation over the last three games, shooting 4-for-14 (.286) from the field including 0-for-4 from three.
(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

If Game 1 was any indication, the first Eastern Conference finals to be devoid of a No. 1 or 2 seed won't lack for excitement.

The Miami Heat got the better of the Boston Celtics 117-114 in overtime on Tuesday to kick off the historic best-of-seven tilt. The teams will look to bring similar energy as Game 2 tips off Thursday night at the NBA bubble near Orlando.

Game 1 featured a 14-point comeback for the Heat in the fourth quarter before Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo were the heroes in overtime.

Butler completed the game-winning three-point play with 12 seconds remaining, but it was Adebayo's block to deny Jayson Tatum the chance to tie with 3.7 seconds left that garnered the most attention postgame. It didn't hurt that Magic Johnson tweeted it was the best defensive play he had ever seen in the playoffs.

"I would agree with (Magic)," said Butler. "I really would. I think what Bam did to save that game and to make sure that we win it by putting his body on the line, that really is a really great play."

"No. 1," said Adebayo in ranking the play among the highlights of his three-year career. "Playoffs, game on the line -- No. 1 play."

The effort by Adebayo helped Miami ensure its ninth win in 10 playoff contests. Meanwhile, the loss has Boston trailing for the first time in a series in these playoffs.

"It was a great game, two great teams who play really hard," Celtics guard Marcus Smart said. "They got the plays that they needed that mattered. They did their job, and it's up to us to come back in Game 2 and do ours."

Smart continued his strong playoffs with 26 points in the loss, but it wasn't enough to make up for another poor showing by All-Star point guard Kemba Walker. Walker needed 19 shots to get to 19 points on the night, his third straight game failing to reach 20 points while shooting worse than 32 percent. He was 1 of 9 from 3-point range.

"I'm just playing terrible, to be honest," Walker said. "Not much I can say, but I have to be better. I have to do better for this team on both ends of the floor. I have to make better decisions. I just have to make shots overall."

Equally, the Celtics will look to improve their late game defense after being outscored 35-23 in the fourth quarter. Boston held Miami to a playoff-low 16 points in the third.

"That's what the playoffs is: making adjustments," said Tatum, who had 30 points and 14 rebounds.

For the Heat, it wasn't just Butler and Adebayo delivering in Game 1. Goran Dragic scored a team-high 29 points, and Jae Crowder added 22 against his former team, but perhaps the most important performance was from rookie guard Tyler Herro, who fell an assist shy of his first career triple-double (12 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists) in 40 minutes off the bench.

"He was out there hooping," Butler said. "He's comfortable. He's confident. We continue to tell him to be that way no matter what game we're in. We need you to play that way. He's been preparing for this moment all year long. There's nothing that we're not comfortable with him doing."

--Field Level Media

Updated September 17, 2020

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