NBA Playoffs 2020: Miami Heat rookie Tyler Herro’s historic game leads the series 3-1 against the Boston Celtics | NBA.com Canada

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The Miami Heat are one win away from the NBA Finals.Behind a historic 37-point performance by rookie Tyler Herro, the Heat won Game 4 thriller 112-109. By never hanging out in double digits in this one, as they did in the previous three games of this series, the Heat had to survive the late Celtics rally led by Jayson Tatum’s 28-point second period rebound.

Ultimately, the Heat hung on to take a 3-1 series lead behind key contributions from Goran Dragic (22 points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals), Jimmy Butler (24 points, nine rebounds, three assists), and Bam Adebayo (20 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, two steals).

On the other hand, the Cs had five players who finished in double digits. They made a game with this one, despite committing 19 turnovers for the Miami 8, but couldn’t secure the comeback despite a few big buckets down the home stretch.

Here are some other observations of the game.

1. Heat up and keep an early lead

Entering Game 4, the Heat had only led for 20.3% of total minutes played . After Game 3, their All-Stars of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo voiced concerns about playing from behind for most of the series.

In the first quarter of Game 4, Butler and Bam combined for 12 points and eight rebounds as the Heat took a 24-23 lead in the first quarter.

The game was close early on with four header changes and three draws in the opening 12 minutes, but Heat led for almost 10 minutes of the period.

2. Tyler Herro’s GREAT first half

The 20-year-old Heat rookie started the game on fire, making five of his first six shots. He finished the first half as the game’s top scorer with 15 points in 18 minutes on the bench on 6 out of 10 shots.

He equaled the San Antonio Spurs legend Manu Ginobili for most of the 10-point playoff games on the bench as a rookie since starts were first recorded in 1970-71. It was his 13th game in a row scoring at least 10 points, tie the Elgin Baylor Hall of Fame for the 3rd longest streak by a rookie in NBA playoff history.

3. The Celtics lag behind in the defensive 1st half

After the first two periods, the Celtics nearly doubled the Heat’s turnover 11-6. Jayson Tatum, despite seven rebounds and three assists, was scoreless in the first half – his only scoreless half of the season – on the shot 0 out of 6.

Marcus Smart collected his third foul with 5:40 left in the second quarter. So the fact that Boston only lost six at halftime despite all of the numbers above is huge. Walker and Brown combined for half of the team’s 44 points in the first half on 8 of 15 shots from the field.

It was an odd first half as the Heat led 50-44 while Boston’s point total was their lowest first half total of these five-point playoffs . In a defensive first half, neither team shot better than 42.2% from field and 26.3% from long distance as Miami led for nearly 22 of 24 minutes.

4. Tatum comes to life in the 3rd

With 6:48 left in the third quarter, Jayson Tatum hit his first basket of the game.

He would finish with 16 points in the quarter, the game’s top scorer for the period, on 6 of 8 shots from the field and 2 of 2 from beyond the arc. His late bucket followed by a block in the third quarter pulled the Celtics one point behind the Heat at 77-76 in a quarter where Miami led by their series-wide -12 point lead.

5. Celtics fight to regain the lead

After lagging through both of the intervening quarters, Boston recovered from its deficit to lead at the start of the fourth quarter.

It was the first Boston in the lead since 25-24 .

6. Herro’s fall 17 in 4th, for the fourth historic match

After scoring 15 points in the first half, the Heat rookie remained hot in the second half. He fell 17 in the last quarter, helping the Heat beat the Celtics 35-33 and thwarting Boston’s return.

His 37 points are the second most scored by a rookie 21 or younger in a playoff game, second only after Magic Johnson’s 42 points in Game 6 of the 1980 NBA Finals.

His point total is also a Heat franchise record for a playoff rookie, previously held by Dwyane Wade (27).

7. A lot at stake in the fifth game

For the Celtics, down 3-1, Game 5 is a must. Can they make the unlikely return? If they did, they would become the first franchise to do it three times, having achieved the feat in 1968 and 1981.

Meanwhile, for the Heat, a place in the NBA Finals is on the line – the franchise’s first since 2014 and the sixth in the past 14 years. If they win, it would be Jimmy Butler’s first appearance in the final, just as it would for a majority of Team Heat, and the sixth in a row for former Final MVP Andre Iguodala.

Game 5 is Friday, September 25 at 8:30 p.m. ET.

The opinions on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.



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