- Points: Bam Adebayo – 27
- Aides: Jae Crowder – 5
- Rebonds: Bam Adebayo – 16
Celtics de Boston
- Points: Jaylen Brown – 26
- Aides: Jayson Tatum – 8
- Rebonds: Jayson Tatum – 14
Heating cord series 2-0
After losing 2-0 in the series following Thursday’s loss, the Celtics would have expressed their frustrations in a noisy dressing room and that seemed to do the trick as they were never late in a 117-106 win.
The Celtics were also boosted by the return of Hayward, who scored six points in 31 minutes of a welcome return from an ankle injury that kept him out since August 17.
“I didn’t expect to play so much with him,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.
“I thought he looked pretty good, he asked to go out a few times – the wind caught him a few times – but I thought he did what he’s been doing all year. ”
Kemba Walker scored 21 points and Marcus Smart 20 as the Celtics, for whom Tatum added 14 rebounds, shot 48.2% (41 of 85) as a team, edging Miami 60-36 in the paint.
“I’m extremely tired right now, my ankle is quite sore, but I’m proud of the way we fought and proud to have won,” said Hayward.
“It’s a team that plays hard, they are in competition. They are obviously extremely well trained and they are not giving up.
“I think they also have a lot of guys who can go for it, especially from the outside, so the leads are not secure and they can score in batches, like we saw in the first two games.
“Tonight I think me personally, just trying to help us offensively, being someone who can get into the paint, create, also try to help us bounce back, bring the ball back up. I think if we can run it can’t last. their defense and we have so many good athletes, so many guys who can score and bring the ball back – it makes it difficult for them. ”
For Miami, Bam Adebayo had 27 points and 16 rebounds, while Tyler Herro scored 22 to lead six double-digit players for the Heat, who suffered just their second loss in 12 playoff games en route to their lead in eastern final.
“We didn’t play hard enough,” said Jimmy Butler, who had 17 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
“We weren’t playing basketball like we did to win the games we won. “
Boston has never lagged behind, carrying a 13-point advantage in the second half for the second in a row, but unlike Game 2, where they were outscored 37-17 in the third quarter, the Celtics held on. control and entered the fourth with a 15 point advantage.
It was a lead they increased to no less than 20 in the final period, but Miami remained competitive and at one point found itself within a few baskets to lead the Celtics to falter.
Trailing 109-102, after Duncan Robinson got a 3 point and hit 1 of 2 on the line after a blatant Brown foul with 1:03 left, Adebayo reduced the deficit to five with 55, 9 seconds to go, but Smart made eight free throws as the Celtics stood.
Boston led 31-22 after the first quarter and extended their lead to 12 over a 3-point Walker with 10:14 left in the first half to lead 36-24.
Miami responded with a Herro-inspired 13-4 run to get under three minutes with just over three minutes of the half remaining, but the Celtics finished the quarter on a dominant run, a 12-2 flurry of theirs. giving a 63-50. at the break.
“They came out with great strength in this game, and you have to give them credit for that,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
After three games in five days, the teams now have a three-game break before Wednesday’s all-important fourth game in the Top Seven series.
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