USA About: Celtics Publish: 05/25/2022 Edit: 05/25/2022 Author: Gardener
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) shoots over Miami Heat forward Caleb Martin ( 16). Fans applaud after a drive by Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) in the second half of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference NBA Basketball Playoffs against the Miami Heat Monday, May 23, 2022 in Boston. Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) shoots over Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler ( 22). Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) drives to the basket against the Miami Heat during the second half of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference NBA Basketball Playoff Finals Monday, May 23, 2022 in Boston. Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) drives past Miami Heat guard Gabe Vincent (2) during the second half of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference NBA Basketball Playoff Finals, Monday, May 23, 2022, in Boston. Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) is pressured by Boston Celtics center Al Horford, left, during the second half of Game 4 of the NBA Basketball Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals, Monday, May 23, 2022, in Boston. Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra calls on his players while taking on the Boston Celtics in the first half of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference NBA Basketball Playoffs Finals Monday, May 23, 2022 in Boston. The Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics is as close as can be and it's back to Miami, all with two wins apiece. Boston scored 18 of the first 19 points Monday night en route to a 102-82 win in Game 4 of the best-of-seven series. The Celtics led by as much as 32 points in the third quarter - a big gap even for a series full of them. "Sometimes when you have two really competitive teams, it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be a one-point game," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. “That means it can be flammable in any case. Both teams are ignitable.” And they seem to take turns catching fire: the team that got blown out won the next game every time. "What they did to us, we can do to them," Spoelstra said. This is part of the playoffs. There are these extreme ups and downs, especially when you have two teams that are pretty close and evenly matched.” And games dominated by defense don't always make for entertaining television. The series moves to Miami for Game 5 on Wednesday, with Boston guaranteeing another home game on Friday. The Heat would host Sunday's crucial seventh game if needed. "I think human nature matters, when you win a game you can relax a little," said Celtics star Jayson Tatum, who played in Game 4 31 points after scoring 10 on 3-for-14 shooting in the previous game “Obviously when we lose a game we feel like it's all or nothing in the next game and then we come out "I think we have to have that attitude in Game 5 - that it's a must - win game because tonight was basically that," he said. We could all feel it. I think that showed in the way we came out." It was the fourth straight game by a 20-point lead, two of which exceeded 30. There have been four lead changes throughout the series - just one in second half and none in the fourth quarter. Right," said Miami guard Victor Oladipo, who came off the bench more than eight minutes into the first quarter to score the first basket of the Heat after they were already 18-1 down . In a seesaw series, Game 1 was the most competitive of games, with the Celtics leading early by 13 points before Miami outplayed them 39-14 in the third quarter to finally take the lead. The Heat held a double-digit lead for most of the fourth quarter. In Game 2, Boston built up a 34-point lead en route to a 25-point win. The Heat said they were embarrassed at their home pitch and Game 3 was the payback; they shot out to a 26-point lead in the first half. And after losing big at home on Saturday, the Celtics led 8-0, 18-1, 26-4 in the first quarter of Game 4. "Obviously (it's) because we lost the last game," Boston center Robert Williams III said. “I feel like our team is like that. Although the Heat reduced their 26-point lead to one in Game 3, Boston never led the entire game. On Monday night, the Celtics led by double digits for more than 43 of the 48 minutes despite shooting under 40%, with their starters going 3-for-20 from within 3-point range. "It's sometimes an inconsistent streak by both teams," said Boston coach Ime Udoka.
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