Take a deep breath, calm down and, most importantly, settle in. The real Celtics showed up in Miami last night and made something indisputably clear.
They’re fully armed and now ready to go.
Buoyed by the return of both Al Horford and Marcus Smart – not necessarily in that order – the restored Celtics blistered the Miami Heat by a 127-102 score to even the Eastern Conference finals at a game apiece. Boston led by as many as 34 points and outscored Miami 111-67 during a span of roughly 38 minutes in the middle of the game, never allowing Miami to get closer than 17 in the second half.
“When you have Smart and Al back, we’re just that much more bigger and better defensively,” said Celtics forward Jayson Tatum. “Obviously we miss those guys when they’re not playing, but it was great to have them back.”
Said head coach Ime Udoka: “Wasn’t surprising to see how well we guarded with our guys back.”
The answer, by the numbers: