Celtics advance to NBA Finals after nail-biter win in Miami
FiredUp Network Sports Writer
Monday, May 30, 2022
Celtics fend off furious Heat comeback to win the East
The Boston Celtics are going back to the NBA Finals, booking their first trip to the Finals since 2010.
The Celtics started the game out strong in the first quarter, jumping out to a 9-2 run early. Boston’s ball movement was humming, as they routinely found open shooters off second and third passes, leading to eight assists. They converted on five-of-nine threes and took a 15-point cushion going into the second.
Miami in complete contrast shot poorly from the field in the first, as they struggled to convert on anything in general. Shooting seven-for-22 from the field, including one-for-seven from deep, the Heat flipped the switch in the second quarter.
The Heat still struggled from three, but Jimmy Butler scored 18 of Miami’s 32 points, converting on a variety of mid-range jumpers and drives to the rim that were a steady part of his signature game six performance.
With the game looking within the grasp of either team, the Celtics held on to a narrow five-point lead going into halftime. Just as Miami looked prime to take momentum off the Celtics who were up big early, Boston responded to every Heat basket with a pressure-release shot of their own.
With Miami’s season on the line, the Heat made a furious 11-0 run towards the end of the fourth in an attempt to keep their season alive. After getting a crucial stop, the Heat, down two, had a chance to take the lead on a Butler go-ahead three.
The shot was short, hitting the front of the rim, as the Heat were forced to foul and Boston was able to seal the game at the free throw line.
Butler finished with 35 points and nine rebounds on the night in the loss. Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart combined for 74 of Boston’s 100 points. Tatum was named the Eastern Conference Finals MVP, an award introduced this postseason and given to the most valuable player of the East playoff bracket.
In a series that will be remembered for inconsistency and blowouts on both sides, it was only fitting that it went the distance, and ended in the most dramatic fashion possible.
Up next for the Celtics, they’ll be travelling to San Francisco to take on the Golden State Warriors in game one of the NBA Finals. Tip-off for game one begins at 9 p.m. EST.