Boston Celtics

Sep 17, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Bam Adebayo (13) is congratulated by forward forward Jae Crowder (99) after dunking against the Boston Celtics during the third quarter in game two of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

By Ty Anderson,

After blowing a 14-point lead in Game 1, the Celtics one-upped themselves in Thursday’s Game 2 loss to the Heat, and allowed a 15-point to evaporate into thin air in the third quarter on their way to a 106-101 loss.

It was in that third quarter where things truly fell apart for the C’s, too, with the Heat outscoring them 37-17 in the third frame, and with that 17-point output being the Celtics’ lowest-scoring quarter of basketball of the entire postseason. It, predictably, came with Boston shooters going ice cold (4-for-12) while Miami turned it up with makes on 14 of their 24 attempts.

“They outplayed us,” Kemba Walker admitted. “It was really unacceptable on our behalf.”

That’s putting it lightly. The Celtics looked like a team without a pulse. They had no clue how to handle the zone defense the Heat threw at them, and there really wasn’t an on-court, take-charge moment from any of their top talents.

Things changed slightly in the fourth quarter, and the Celtics managed to tie things up with 5:36 remaining in the fourth quarter, and went on a 15-2 run to put themselves back in the driver’s seat late in the fourth quarter.

But yet again, carelessness with the ball and wide-open misses once again allowed the Heat to take control of things, and escape with the victory behind a massive Goran Dragic three.

The C’s still had a chance to tie things up by way of a Jimmy Butler turnover with 23.6 seconds left and with the Celtics down by three, but that possession went absolutely nowhere, and the Celtics were done for the night even before the intentional foul that extended their deficit to five.

The loss wasted what was a fantastic bounce-back night from Walker, with a team-leading 23 points on 9-for-19 shooting, and with four connections on his 11 tries from three-point range.

Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, meanwhile, both finished with 21 points.

Dragic led the way for the Heat, meanwhile, with a game-high 25 points. But it was Duncan Robinson who provided a significant boost to Miami, with 18 points, and with all 18 coming by way of his three-point shooting (6-for-12).

For Boston, one of the biggest issues in this game came down to their ball management, as the Green turned the ball over a staggering 20 times, giving the Heat a plus-11 differential in the turnover game.

“We’re not beating this team if we’re not completely connected on both ends of the court,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “So we’ve got to get back to being that. We’re going to have to fight to get back into this series.”

The C’s will look to get themselves on the board and back in this series with a win in Game 3 on Saturday night.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.