The Miami Heat are up 1-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics after a 118-107 game one victory in South beach. Boston was without the Defensive Player of the Year winner Marcus Smart and Al Horford, which led to an eruption by Heat star Jimmy Butler finishing the game with 41 points, nine rebounds, and five assists.
Boston led by 13 points going into halftime; however, a 22-2 run sparked a comeback for Miami, led by 27 second-half points from Butler. He finished the game 17-18 from the free-throw line, the second-most by a player against the Celtics this playoff behind Kevin Durant.
Jaylen Brown told ESPN that Butler was too comfortable in game one and that they would have to play him better the rest of the series.
“He’s very comfortable right now, and we’ve got to do a better job of breaking that rhythm that he’s in. That’s it. We’ve got to take the challenge.”
The Duo of Brown and Jayson Tatum combined for 53 points, but their dismal second-half effort hurt the guys in green badly as they finished the game with 16 total turnovers. Tatum only scored eight points in the second half.
Celtics Coach Ime Udoka told reporters that the Heat didn’t do anything different to throw them off the slow second half was a huge momentum shifter in the game.
“It wasn’t anything different that they did. They just came out and imposed their will,” Udoka said. “We semi-bounced back in the fourth and started to play well again and match their physicality, but 39-14 on 2-for-15 is tough to overcome.”
The Celtics look to even the series tonight for Game 2 and head back to the TD Garden with a 1-1 tie.