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Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 19: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat drives around Al Horford #42 of the Boston Celtics during the third quarter in game two of the Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 19, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

The Celtics have been a bounce-back team all season. Down 0-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Miami Heat, it looked like they were going to do it again.

That was, until the Heat got going in the fourth quarter. The Celtics saw a 12 point lead quickly evaporate, as Miami came from behind for a 111-105 win at TD Garden on Friday night.

  • Game 2 started in a similar fashion to Game 1. In a grind of an opening few minutes, the Heat earned themselves a small lead. An 0-for-4 stretch for the Celtics midway through the quarter resulted in four scoreless minutes, and allowed the Heat to grow their lead to as many as eight points. However, the Celtics woke up at the two-minute call, closing the quarter on an 11-2 run to win the first frame 25-24.

    The Celtics kept the pressure up to start the second quarter, opening the frame on a 10-0 run. At the next stoppage, Jayson Tatum subbed out for the Celtics after a 14-point start while Jimmy Butler subbed in for the Heat. That sparked a 12-2 run for the Heat before Tatum subbed back in, which became a 19-2 run that helped the Heat regain the lead. At the halftime break, Miami led 54-50.

    To start the third quarter, the Celtics had a 12-2 run of their own that included 10 points from Tatum alone, to get the lead back in their favor. In all, they flipped the script from the third-quarter disaster they suffered in Game 1, winning the Game 2 third quarter 33-21 to set up an 83-75 lead heading into the final 12 minutes.

  • Just like the Celtics did to the Heat in Game 1, the Heat quickly closed the gap in the fourth quarter of Game 2. An 8-4 run had the Celtics’ margin down to just four points at one point early in the quarter, which drew a timeout from Joe Mazzulla.

    That didn’t slow the Heat down, as Jimmy Butler took over and scored nine of his 27 points in the quarter. Butler’s surge came after a face-to-face incident with Grant Williams. In total, the Celtics were outscored 36-22 in the frame, blowing an eight-point lead through three quarters.

    Butler scored his 27 points on 12-of-25 shooting, with just one three point attempt which he missed. He also had eight rebounds and six assists.

  • The Heat also helped Butler up and down the rotation. Bam Adebayo turned in a 22-point, 16-rebound double-double, and Caleb Martin dropped 25 points off the bench shooting 11-of-16 with a 3-for-7 mark from three.

    Meanwhile, the Celtics failed to get that kind of support behind Tatum, who put together a strong showing with 34 points on 10-of-20 shooting with 13 rebounds and eight assists. The Celtics’ next-highest scorer was Jaylen Brown, who did put up 16 points but shot just 7-of-23 from the floor and 1-of-7 from deep. It was also another down game for Al Horford, who shot 1-of-5 for two points with four rebounds and two assists.

    The Celtics now trail the series 0-2. In the last 10 Conference Finals series that a team went down 0-2, that team went on to lose the series.

    Up next, the series shifts to Miami for Game 3 on Sunday night. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. on 98.5 The Sports Hub and the Sports Hub BetMGM Celtics Radio Network.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. 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 abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.

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