The Boston Celtics put up an impressive reaction in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Jayson Tatum and the dominant defense shattered the Heat in a 102-82 win. Historic disgrace hailed Miami as the series now tied at 2-2.
Tatum led his colors with 31 points (8/16 FG, 14/16 FT), 8 rebounds and 5 assists. In addition, Payton Pritchard (14), the strong Derrick White (13, 8 rebounds and 6 assists) and Robert Williams and Jaylen Brown (12 each) scored in double digits. Al Horford also had a strong game (5, 13 rebounds and 4 blocks), while Daniel Theis was only able to collect 4 points and 3 boards in the extended garbage time.
Boston made it clear from the first minute who would emerge victorious from this game and dominated the entire 48 minutes. The Celtics pulled away to 32 points, the defense held Miami’s starter at just 18 points. There was also far too little to be seen of Jimmy Butler (6, 3/14 FG) or Bam Adebayo (9 and 6 rebounds). The only ray of hope was Victor Oladipo, who became the team’s top scorer with 23 points.
Both teams had to accept personnel setbacks a few hours before the start of the game. On the Heat side, Tyler Herro (Bar) was out, but Butler reported fit. On the one hand, Boston was happy about the return of Robert Williams to the starting five, but the Celts had to do without DPOY Marcus Smart after his ankle injury in Game 3. White moved into the top five.
And what a start from White who had been completely pale in the previous series. He was aggressive from the start and marked Boston’s first 7 points, but the other nine men on the court weren’t doing so well. Brown, who generally didn’t have a lucky hand offensively (5/20 FG), missed his first 5 throws, Miami started against the strong Celtics defense with 0/14 from the field.
Celtics dominate Game 4: Win against Miami never in jeopardy
In addition to White, Tatum now also entered the game, the home side dominated the initial phase with 18:1. With 3:22 left in the first quarter, Miami finally got their first field goal, but that didn’t change a disastrous episode – 29:11 Boston.
Oladipo (18 of the 33 heat points in the first half) felt like the only reason Miami weren’t further behind, even early in the second quarter. But Tatum worked hard very good finishes in the zone, then created an open three for Grant Williams, who made it +24. Boston’s lead later grew to 27 points, and it was 57:33 at half-time.
There was no sign of a comeback for the Heat even after the change of sides. Instead, Horford continued to attack the opponent with several strong defensive plays and Boston increased to +32. The air was out of this game relatively quickly, it was almost incomprehensible why Tatum or Adebayo, among others, were still on the court at all. 76:52 after three rounds.
Horford still relied on his strong performance a cherry on top, when he smashed Caleb Martin badly. Almost nine minutes before the end of the day, the veteran and Tatum finished their day, and Miami finally raised the white flag. Game 5 in Miami is scheduled for Thursday night.
The most important statistics
Boston Celtics (2) – Miami Heat (1) 102:82 (BOXSCORE), Serie: 2-2
- It was a historically poor start for the Heat in Game 4, or one that was forced on them by the suffocating Celtics defense. The guests scored a point (1!) In the first eight minutes of the game – loud ESPN Stats & Info this has never happened in the last 25 years. The 11 points in the first round (3/20 FG, 15 percent) also set a franchise negative record in a first quarter of the playoffs.
- Boston kept finding a way into the opposing zone and earning tons of free throws. The Celts were on the line 38 times (32 goals, 84.2 percent), while Miami only 14 times (8 goals, 57.1 percent). The discrepancy came about because the Heat hardly generated any deals at the ring. Instead, Boston closed the ring, the guests were forced to make difficult deals from the floater range, but they didn’t fall (6/31 FG).
- Superb defense was the main reason Boston celebrated an unchallenged blowout, even though the Celts themselves hit just 39.7 percent from the field, including a weak 23.5 percent from Downtown (8/34). But Miami was only 33.3 percent from the field and at least 38.9 percent from the three countries (14/36). In connection with the free-throw discrepancy and strong rebounding (60:39), Boston’s victory was never in jeopardy.
- Offensively, Celtics coach Ime Udoka should be extremely satisfied in one respect: After losing 24 balls in Game 3, his players watched the ball much better. The statisticians noted just 3 turnovers in the first half box score (11 in total, MIA: 9). So the Heat’s transition game never got off the ground – and in the halffield they found no remedy against Boston’s defense.
NBA Playoffs – Celtics vs. Heat: Die Stimmen
Jayson Tatum (Celtics): “We were ourselves again. We knew we needed that win. Everyone was ready to just play better. […] It goes back and forth in this series. Both teams are coached well and are very good defensively. Now it’s a best-of-three series.”
Jimmy Butler (Heat) on his bruised knee: “There’s no excuse for how I played today. I’m not worried about it.”
Erik Spoelstra (Heat-Coach): “Whatever they did to us, we can do the same to them. Nobody here is happy with what happened.”
The star of the game: Jayson Tatum
Difficult to single out a single Celtic from the strong team construct. Horford and Williams were powerful defensively, with White calling the shots on both sides of the field early on, but Tatum did most of the scoring. Although he didn’t do much downtown either (1/7 three), he put his pinpricks in the zone and was a big reason why Boston had such a big advantage in free throws. Ultimately he stood at +37!
The Flop of the Game: Starting Five of the Heat
The entire first five of the guests was a total failure. At half-time the starters were 5/24 out of the field, adding up to a total of 12 points. At the end of the game there were 18 points – the fewest in a playoff game in the league in 1970/71! There was nothing to be seen from the dominant Adebayo in game 3, Butler was a shadow of himself, Max Strus hit nothing on the one hand and was attacked defensively on the other – in fact he didn’t put up anything countable in 15 minutes. There wasn’t even a fire to be seen at the Heatles.
The scene of the game
Horford had 4 blocks, including rejections against Adebayo or this trinket against Caleb Martin. The 35-year-old didn’t let himself be shaken off by his drive, instead he always stayed tuned and sent the reverse layup attempt into the second row. Robert Williams also had the TD Garden in ecstasy with a block against Butler – Boston had a total of 11 blocks.
Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics: The Series at a Glance (2-2)
|1||May 18th||2.30 a.m||Miami Heat||Boston Celtics||118:107|
|2||20. May||2.30 a.m||Miami Heat||Boston Celtics||102:127|
|3||22. May||2.30 a.m||Boston Celtics||Miami Heat||103:109|
|4||24. May||2.30 a.m||Boston Celtics||Miami Heat||102:82|
|5||26. May||2.30 a.m||Miami Heat||Boston Celtics||–|
|6||28. May||2.30 a.m||Boston Celtics||Miami Heat||–|
|7*||30. May||2.30 a.m||Miami Heat||Boston Celtics||–|