Jayson Tatum propels the Celtics to a 114-94 victory over the Heat, in the playoff opener

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Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics

The Celtics prepared for their playoff game against Miami by talking about matching the physicality of a team missing star player Jimmy Butler.

They did exactly that. Jayson Tatum achieved his first playoff triple-double with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, leading Boston to a 114-94 victory over the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs on Sunday.

Derrick White contributed 20 points and four assists for Boston, with six players scoring in double figures. The Celtics maintained a lead of up to 34 points in the fourth quarter. Although Miami made a late push and closed the gap to 14 points, Boston managed to secure the win.

Tatum commented, “It’s supposed to be tough. In the playoffs no game is easy… We just had to respond and we did that.”

Last season, Miami dashed Boston’s hopes of reaching the NBA finals by taking a 3-0 lead in the conference finals and winning Game 7 convincingly in Boston.

However, Boston drew energy from the TD Garden crowd, tying a franchise playoff record with 22 three-pointers and outscoring the Heat 31-14 in the third quarter.

Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics (Credits: Fox News)

Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla remarked, “There was a four or five-minute stretch when we didn’t handle it well, but I think the other 42-43 minutes — that’s the recipe.”

With a 38-4 home record, including the regular season, Boston has won its last four encounters with the Heat.

For Miami, Bam Adebayo scored 24 points, but the team played without star player Butler due to a right knee injury sustained during the play-in round. Terry Rozier was also sidelined with a neck injury.

Delon Wright contributed 17 points, tying his career-high with five three-pointers, while Jaime Jaquez Jr. finished with 16 points. Tyler Herro scored 11 points but struggled with his shooting, going 4 of 13 from the field and 2 of 9 from beyond the arc.

Herro acknowledged the pressure from Boston’s defense, saying, “Applying pressure and making things difficult, not allowing me to get comfortable really from the beginning… It’s one game. We’re going to leave it behind us and keep it moving.”


By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

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