How Boston tied the East finals against Miami and who has an advantage in Game 3

Marcus Smart and Al Hortford played the second game of the series against the Miami Heat and their impact was more than immediate on the court, in statistics and leadership, to lead the Boston Celtics.

Thus, the Celtics overwhelmed the Heat 127-102 in Game 2 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals on Thursday night to tie the game.

Now the Celtics return to Boston with home-field advantage in the series over the Heat, who will have to win at least one of the next two games to return to Miami with any real hope of winning the East and advancing to their second NBA Finals. in three seasons.

Boston improved to 4-0 after a loss this postseason and its 25-point victory was its biggest on the road playing in the conference finals or later.

Celtics respond…again



Marcus Smart drops Max Strus with a dribbling move, then calmly sinks the jump shot.

1.- The reinforcements arrive: Marcus Smart played Thursday, despite foot injuries that kept him out of the series opener, and he did in spectacular fashion with 24 points, nine rebounds, 12 assists and three steals. Also, the NBA knows that he is one of the best defensive shooting guards in basketball.

The absence of the veteran Al Horford in Game 1 it was more than evident, beyond his average points, rebounds or blocks on the floor. He was the presence the Celtics needed to bring order down the board and a big presence across the floor.

Boston’s defensive improvement with Horford and Smart was huge.

2.- The one who hits first: The Celtics went on a 17-0 run in the first quarter, their longest in the current playoffs, and didn’t look back.

It was very similar to that rally in Game 1 of the third period, when the Heat came out of the break with a 22-2 run from which Boston did not recover.

Then the Celtics had a couple more runs that killed Miami’s hopes early; 9-0 and 21-8 in the second period. By halftime he was already leading 70-45. And in the third quarter, Boston responded to a 17-3 Heat rally with a 12-2 run.

3.- They arrived with fine-tuned aim: Boston shot 51 percent from the field, including 50 percent on 40 3-point attempts. Plus, he shot 91 percent of his attempts from the free throw line.

It’s hard for any defense to stop that shooting on a day with such a hot hand from the Celtics, who had five players in double figures, especially when they’re shots from outside the arc.

Butler’s One Man Show



The Celtics outscored the Heat 127-102 to tie the Eastern Conference finals 1-1. Sebastián Martínez Christensen analyzes the challenges that Jimmy Butler and Erik Spoelstra will have ahead of the next clash.

1.- It is a team sport: Jimmy Butler You need help from your peers. It is impossible to think that the Heat will win in Boston if the rest of the starting lineup does not cooperate on the scoreboard.

Butler scored nearly as many points (70) in the first two games of the series as the rest of the combined starting fifth (74), including 29 points in Thursday’s loss on 11-of-18 shooting from the field. Overall, Butler scores 38 percent of the starters’ points in these playoffs.

Butler has 70 points against Boston, the most after two games of a postseason series in Miami history, including the times of Lebron James in South Florida.

2.- You have to move fast: If Miami is going to win Game 3 in Boston, they will have to try to rack up assists, circulate the ball quickly and dribble to draw wide-eyed shots. The size and strength of the Celtics makes it very difficult to try to shoot with close defenders.

But more importantly, they have to move their defense to the perimeter fast. Granted, it’s almost impossible for Boston to shoot every game 20 of 40 3-pointers it attempted, but at the end of the night that was the big difference in Game 2; 20 shots from outside the arc means 60 points.

And of course they must take care of the ball. Losing 15 balls in a conference final is very unhealthy.

3.- The Heat and their own injury problems: The point guard and playmaker Kyle Lowry remains out of the series and has not participated since Game 4 of the previous series due to a hamstring injury.

On Thursday, veteran PJ Tucker had to leave the court after a knock to his knee and was scheduled for an MRI on Friday. In case he can be in Game 3, we will have to see what his physical condition is because the Heat need to win in Boston.

Miami became the 55th team to lose at least one postseason home game by 25 points and only eight of the previous 54 have won that series.

Additionally, the winner of Game 3 of a best-of-seven series tied 1-1 has won the contest 73.4 percent of the time (185-67) in postseason history, including 5-1 this season.

With information from ESPN Stats & Info

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How Boston tied the East finals against Miami and who has an advantage in Game 3