Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) dunks against Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) during the fourth quarter of Game 7 of the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden. (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

Monday night was supposed to be a statement night for the Boston Celtics. They certainly made a statement, but it was hardly the one they wanted.

The Celtics came into Monday night’s Game 7 against the Miami Heat at TD Garden not only looking to return to the NBA Finals but also trying to make history and become the first NBA team to come back from down 0-3 to win a best-of-seven series. Instead, it was the Miami Heat making history, becoming just the second eight seed to make the NBA Finals thanks to a 103-84 win.

  • In the earliest run of the game, the Celtics went up 9-4 in the first few minutes. This was despite Jayson Tatum landing awkwardly on his ankle on the C’s first offensive possession. He’d stay in the game, but seemed bothered by the injury the rest of the night.

    Once they started shooting threes though, things shifted. They missed all 10 three point attempts in the quarter, and trailed 22-15 after the first frame.

    The Celtics’ first three wouldn’t come until three minutes into the third quarter, when Al Horford knocked one down from the top of the arc on their 13th attempt. That sparked a bit of a Boston run, and the Celtics got back within eight points late in the second quarter. However, they were down 52-41 at halftime.

  • Through the third quarter, the Celtics slowly chipped away. Derrick White played a huge part in that, scoring 13 points in the quarter including eight unanswered at one point.

    Towards the middle of the third the Celtics’ had the Heat lead down to just seven points, but got sloppy in the final few minutes and gave some of those points back. In the end they only picked up one point in the quarter, and trailed 76-66 heading into the fourth.

    It was the Heat that capitalized on the momentum of the end of the third quarter. They opened the fourth on a 7-0 run, a stretch that included multiple Celtics turnovers. Despite a Joe Mazzulla timeout during that run the Heat continued to pile on, as their lead stretched to a game-high 23 points on their way to clinching the victory.

  • Jaylen Brown was the Celtics’ leading scorer, but he was also played a costly game. Brown shot 8-of-23 including a 1-of-9 mark from three, totaling 19 points. He also turned the ball over eight times, and committed five fouls.

    White finished just behind him with 18 points. Tatum, playing through the bad ankle, scored 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting while going 1-of-4 from deep. He grabbed 11 rebounds.

    The star for Miami was once again Caleb Martin. Martin, who began the series on the bench but started on Monday night, scored 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting, and shot 4-of-6 from deep while grabbing 10 rebounds. Jimmy Butler finished as the Heat’s leading scorer though with 28 points, seven rebounds, and six assists.

    With the loss, the Celtics’ season comes to an end. The Heat are onto the NBA Finals to face the Denver Nuggets. That series begins Thursday night in Denver.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].

Sign me up for the 98.5 The Sports Hub email newsletter!

Get the latest Boston sports news and analysis, plus exclusive on-demand content and special giveaways from Boston's Home for Sports, 98.5 The Sports Hub.

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.