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Miami beats Boston 109-103 for 2-1 series lead – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports

BOSTON (AP) — Bam Adebayo scored 31 points with 10 rebounds for the Miami Heat, who gambled away a 25-point lead in the first half and lost Jimmy Butler to a knee injury but defeated the Boston Celtics 109-103 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday night.

Boston never led in the game but almost erased the entire 62-37 deficit and came within 2:40 to a point, 93-92, to play on a 3-pointer from Jaylen Brown who finished with 40 points .

Max Strus responded with a 3 and then Adebayo bounced off defender Al Horford and made a basket on the shot clock buzzer to give Miami a six-point cushion that held it to a 2-1 lead in the best- of-Seven series to take over.

Game 4 takes place in Boston on Monday night.

In a game that saw Butler and Boston’s Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart leave with injuries — though both Celtics returned — Kyle Lowry came back after four games and posted 11 with six assists for the Heat. PJ Tucker — like Lowry, a game decider — scored 17 for the Heat.

Horford had 20 points with 14 rebounds and Smart had 16. Tatum had 10 points on 3-for-14 shooting; He also had six turnovers and Brown signed seven of Boston’s 24 turnovers – a 2022 playoff high.

After losing Game 2 at home by 25 points to cede home field advantage to the Celtics, the Heat opened up a 62-37 lead in the second quarter with less than three minutes to go and then watched Boston as the last 10 points of the Halftime scored to claw his way back into the game.

Things got worse for the Heat when they announced at halftime that Butler, who scored 41 points in the series opener, would not be returning with a right knee infection.

Still leading 15, 87-72 after three, Miami made it a 17-point play to Adebayo’s basket to start the fourth. But the Celtics ran out the next nine points, getting into single digits for the first time in the first three minutes of the game. Trailing 93-80, the Celtics scored 12 straight points – 10 from Brown – to make it a one-point game with 2:40 left.

IN AND OUT

Boston opened the second with a basket to make it a 13-point game, but the building fell silent when Smart, Defensive Player of the Year, went down on a loose ball in a collision with Lowry and had to be helped the lockerroom.

Smart returned just five minutes later and caused a huge cheer as the scoreboard showed him walking through the tunnel back to the pitch. He checked back in with seven minutes to go in the third round and hit a 3-pointer that made it a 10-point game, 72-62, forcing the Heat to call a timeout.

The situation repeated itself when Tatum went down in apparent pain with five minutes left in the fourth minute. He went straight to the dressing room, holding his right side but also returning to the cheers of the crowd.

Lowry missed eight of the Heat’s last 10 games with a right thigh strain and last played in Game 4 of Miami’s second-round series with Philadelphia. Tucker had a sore left knee but was also on the starting lineup.

The Celtics were without center Robert Williams III, who missed three games in the second round against Milwaukee with pain and a bruised bone in his surgically repaired left knee. Daniel Theis started in his place. Derrick White returned after missing Game 2 to attend the birth of his first child.

TIP INS

The Celtics’ 24 turnovers resulted in 33 Miami points. The Heat had nine turnovers that resulted in nine Celtics points. … Miami’s bench surpassed Boston’s 26-16. … The Heat shot up 64% in the first quarter but ended at 46.7%. … Penn State coach and former Celtics assistant Micah Shrewsberry and Providence College coach Ed Cooley were both in attendance.

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https://wsvn.com/sports/miami-heat/miami-beats-boston-109-103-for-2-1-series-lead/ Miami beats Boston 109-103 for 2-1 series lead – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports

James Brien

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