5 takeaways from pivotal Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics Game 6 of Eastern Conference Finals
Boston Celtics came to the TD garden with a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals and many thought the Celtics would confirm their ticket to play in the most prestigious stage of the NBA winning the game 6 of Heat vs Boston.
But the Heat with their heated attacks and un-heat defense, Jimmy Butler‘s scoring of 47 points send the game 7 to be held at South Beach. Butler’s 47 points might not have been enough had the Celtics done a better job taking care of the ball. Giving it away 18 times, some at critical junctures that would determine the outcome, made ending Miami’s season even more difficult.
Let’s explore the facts why there’ll be a game 7.
1. Attacking Start by the Heat
The game 6 of Heat vs Boston with P.J. Tucker scored the game’s first points followed by Jimmy Butler’s bucket at the rim making it 5-0. Though after that Celtics came back to hatch points with Jayson Tatum scoring for them, The Heat were able to end the first quarter of the game with a lead.
Both teams committed five turnovers in the first frame, but the Heat produced 14 points in the paint. Helping keep the Celtics close was them going 8/8 at the free-throw line.
2. A LeBron James Impression by Jimmy Butler
There will be a seventh game to decide the Eastern corner’s representative in the next week, because Jimmy Butler did his best LeBron James impression with a playoff career best 47 point performance in the Heat’s 111-103 win on Friday night.
Butler, who’s been battling a sore knee, poor shooting, and general lethargy in the middle of this series, shot 16 of 29 from the floor and 4 of 8 from beyond the arc. This was Butler’s fourth 40 point game of the 2022 playoffs.
He nearly notched a triple double, adding nine rebounds and eight assists. He made all 11 of his foul shots. A vintage performance that, yes, we’ve seen before, in the same situation, from the best player on the Heat about a decade ago. A performance that the Celtics could not broke.
3. Heat Take Two Point Lead into Halftime
After Tatum scored the second quarter’s first points at the free throw line, Tucker swished a three from the left corner. But Tatum matched it with a 27 foot three from above the break to trim the gap to 32-27 with the Heat.
Payton Pritchard got the ball to Horford, posting up Lowry on the right block. When the double team came, he dished to a cutting Tatum, who spun for a dunk that made it 32 29 Miami. Still a two point lead owned by the Heat.
Playing with its season on the line, Miami was more aggressive than the last two games, but the hosts had to feel good about only being down two despite a mediocre first half, outside of Brown’s second quarter flurry. In that sense, it mirrored the situation Boston was in at halftime of Game 5.
4. Celtics Take Lead Temporarily, But Miami Punches Back
Tatum sparked the second half scoring with an open three at the right wing. That gave Boston a 49-48 advantage Celtics nearly closing the tie with the Heat.
Bu at the other end, Brown picked up his third foul. After Smart dove, tipped Butler’s dribble, nearly knocking it out off Butler, Strus collected the pass off the inbounds with one second on the shot clock and drilled a three from above the break.
After that, the Heat doubled Tatum, and he kicked the ball out to an open White for a three from the right wing that brought the deficit back to ten. Robert Williams then blocked a Gabe Vincent three, leading to Tatum dishing to him for a dunk at the other end. White closed out the quarter with a pair of free throws, making it 82-75 entering the final frame.
5. Heat Fend Off the Celtics in the Final Frame
After a Heat timeout, Lowry took a pass from Butler and buried a three at the right wing to tie the game at 97. Lowry and Smart then traded free throws to make it 99-99.
White then made a terrific play to strip Lowry from behind after a missed three by Smart. That led to Brown getting fouled with Boston in the bonus, sending him to the line for two. It was also Lowry’s sixth foul. Brown missed both shots, though. Butler & Co. then made it to 105-99.
Celtics though after handwork got it in 103-107 but could not managed to move ahead more, Butler then caught a risky cross court inbounds pass, forcing Tatum to foul him to stop the clock. That sent Butler to the line with 10.9 seconds remaining. He made both shots, giving the Heat a 109-103 advantage.
Horford couldn’t hit an open three, Smart fouled Vincent, and the Celtics knew they were on to Game 7 in Miami.
Butler finished with a game-high 47 points, delivering an absolute masterpiece. His team shot 15/35 (42.9 percent) from beyond the arc. The Heat also produced 34 points in the paint, 24 on 25 free throws, and 22 off 18 Boston turnovers.
Tatum led the Celtics with 30 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and two steals. But he also coughed up the ball seven times. In the fourth quarter, he attempted one shot and scored six points. It’s a stinging loss for the Celtics, who, at best, gave up a chance to get some rest before the NBA Finals.
Game 7 of this Eastern Conference Finals series, Heat vs Boston is expected to be held Sunday in South Beach.
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