How amazing! Euphoric in Game 2 when they equalized in Miami (127-102), the Celtics had come down from their little cloud on the occasion of their return to TD Garden, living in particular a nightmare in the first half by counting up 26 points apart to finally lose 109-103.
What scenario was therefore going to be able to take on this Game 4? As expected, it was Boston’s turn to take control of the game. And as in the last two games, it was an opportunity for an impressive show of force!
The locals indeed took the match by the right end, between the blows of brilliance of Derrick White, the impact of Robert Williams III on both sides of the floor and the mastery of a found Jayson Tatum.
In delicacy with his right shoulder, “JT” still offered a big alley-oop to validate the perfect start of his team, while the score was 16-1! The Heat clearly hit rock bottom by missing their first 14 attempts in the game and then trailing 29-11 after 12 minutes on a 3-pointer from Payton Pritchard and three shots from Jayson Tatum.
Jaylen Brown and Grant Williams from a distance took the fold of the Tatum-Williams III pair in order to drive the point home before the break, despite all the efforts of Victor Oladipo (18 of his 23 points), accompanied at the end of the period by the 3-points from Kyle Lowry and 2 + 1 from Bam Adebayo, author of his third foul in stride.
At -24 at halftime (57-33), the Floridians had had a good overview in the previous match of the recipe for recovering from a first half that was unsuccessful. Except that unlike the Celtics in Game 3, the Heat did not have a reaction of pride, making the choice of reason and wisdom in order to preserve their forces for Game 5 at the American Airlines Arena.
The recovery was indeed marked by the defensive impact of the duo Horford-Williams III and the accuracy of the attacks concluded by the “Jay’s”, Tatum and Brown (73-42). At +24 12 minutes from the end after a 3-pointer from Jayson Tatum, Boston was able to conclude without trembling to win 102-82 while TD Garden was on fire until the end, between the 3- points and Al Horford’s block and Payton Pritchard’s baskets. See you tomorrow in Miami for the rest!
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– History. History to measure the extent of the disaster in the first quarter: never, in its history in the playoffs, the Heat had scored so little in the first 12 minutes of a match with 11 small points scored, at 3/20 in shoot ! The match could not have started worse for Erik Spoelstra’s men who attacked with a 0/14 shot until Victor Oladipo stopped the bleeding. It was already too late…
– An intractable defense. Floridians have felt the return to play of Robert Williams III. Deprived of Game 3 because of knee pain, the pivot of the Celtics was simply imperial with his deterrent force and his counters, not to mention his contribution in attack to the finish. At his side, he was also able to count on the profession of Al Horford, also very valuable in the local defensive enterprise, to scrape all the balls, to make his presence felt in the opposing interiors and to swallow rebounds. A real process of destruction that worked perfectly for Boston. Miami was at 52 points after three quarters, all without Marcus Smart, the best defender of the season, hit in the ankle.
✅ Jayson Tatum. The Celtics star had had a nightmare in the first half of Game 3. Even hit in the shoulder, and manipulated on the bench from the first time-out of the match, the winger redeemed himself by snapping 12 points in the first quarter and 12 again in the second, all punctuated by tasty serves. He stayed the course thereafter without forcing too much.
✅ Al Horford. Zero points scored in the game before the start of the fourth quarter, but a phenomenal impact with each action translated by 13 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 blocks. The “Big Al” of big nights, until the end of the match!
✅ Victor Oladipo. The only Miami player to have made his match. As expected, the full-back took advantage of Tyler Herro’s absence to show he was well and truly back on track.
⛔ Jimmy Butler. In a difficult entry, the leader of the Heat forced a little, and it did not really work for him.
⛔ Miami role players. They are the ones who can rock an undecided match. However, during this match where nothing succeeded in the Heat, they were the ones who pressed the Floridians, between the 0/7 shooting of Max Strus or the 0/4 of PJ Tucker not to mention the new performance without relief from Kyle Lowry, still far from his best level this night (1/6).
Return to Miami this Wednesday for Game 5, which will begin at 2:30 a.m.