Even if their feet remain at the edge of the precipice, the Boston Celtics have regained some color and avoided a sweeping sweep to the air of humiliation by preventing the Miami Heat from closing the NBA Eastern Conference Finals in four dry games.
In the obligation to win under penalty of brutal elimination, Boston won, Tuesday, May 23, on the floor of Florida to return to 3-1 in the series.
“We were down 3-0, but we didn’t put too much pressure on ourselves. We try to take one game at a time. We weren’t thinking about winning four times in a row tonight, we were just trying to save our season and that’s what we did.”commented Jayson Tatum, author of 34 points.
“Saved”, it is not yet, because there is still a long way to go before dreaming of a second championship final in a row. They will have to chain three other successes in a row to reverse this highly compromised situation. However, in the history, in 150 occasions, never a team trailing 3 to 0 won a series in seven games.
The Tatum Locomotive
The Heat therefore remain on favorable waivers to try to play a seventh final, with the objective of winning a fourth championship title (after 2006, 2012 and 2013), but they will have to be wary of an opponent who has regained his fighting virtues. , forty-eight hours after giving up in game number 3.
And as often when the green machine is racing, Tatum (14 of 22 on shots, 11 rebounds, 7 assists) acts as a locomotive, setting the tone and dictating the tempo, unlike his failure in the previous game. This is what happened in the third quarter, his 14 points having largely contributed to the beautiful escape of the C’s (88-79) by inflicting a 38-23 on the Floridians.
“Great scorers eventually find a way to score at some point. You don’t expect a great player like Tatum to have many sleepless nights. But we have to try to make it as difficult as possible for him.”said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra.
With a remarkable overall address (51.2% success, 18 out of 45 behind the arc), Boston then continued to widen the gap, with the contributions of Derrick White and Jaylen Brown, authors of 16 and 17 dots.
Butler alone resistant
“I think that since the start of the series, we have generated good shots, but that does not prevent mistakes and sometimes the shots do not go in.further analyzed Tatum. Tonight, we played in rhythm and with determination, we stopped their offensives, played against… And when you see the double steps and the free throws going in, the jump shots come in much more easily. »
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Symbol of the Celtics’ newfound virtues: substitute Grant Williams, author of 14 points and a cons noticed on Jimmy Butler, without this time provoking the latter as he made the mistake in the second game, sounding the star’s alarm clock . The latter was the only one able to resist in the third quarter by scoring 15 of his 29 points (9 rebounds). For the first time in the series, his teammates could not raise their level of play, even if Gabe Vincent (17 points), who hurt his knee in passing, and Caleb Martin (16 points), n have not failed.
A last effort is to be made and this defeat should as such serve as a reminder to Miami, which hopes to join the Denver Nuggets, qualified for the final series after sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers. Because Boston, on probation, will do everything to instil doubt in the Floridians, Thursday at home during game number 5, just as decisive.