The Boston Celtics’ historic playoff run came to an end as the Miami Heat steamrolled past them in a decisive Game 7, winning 103-84. The Celtics became one of the few teams in NBA history to force a Game 7 after trailing 3-0 in a series, but their valiant effort fell short against a determined Heat team. Miami now advances to the NBA Finals, where they will face the Denver Nuggets.
The Celtics had the rare advantage of home court in a Game 7 situation after being down 3-0. However, they got off to a terrible start, going 0 for 10 from behind the arc and shooting only 26% from the field with 4 turnovers. Adding to their troubles, Jayson Tatum twisted his ankle on the first play of the game, affecting his performance throughout. Boston only held the lead once early in the first quarter before the Heat went on a 30-10 run that extended into the second quarter, establishing a commanding 17-point lead.
Miami’s scoring run proved to be the decisive blow as the Celtics struggled to match their output. The Heat shot a scorching 50% from three-point range, converting on 14 attempts. Overall, they shot 48% from the field and recorded 26 assists. On the defensive end, Miami stifled Boston, holding them to just 84 points. The Celtics shot a dismal 21% from behind the arc and 39% from the field, while committing 15 turnovers (8 of them by Jaylen Brown).
Jimmy Butler, who had a poor performance in the previous game, rose to the occasion in TD Garden for Game 7. He led the Heat with 28 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists, earning him the Larry Bird Eastern Conference Finals MVP Award. Butler received support from Caleb Martin, who contributed 26 points and 10 rebounds. Bam Adebayo had a near triple-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists, despite struggling with his shooting. Duncan Robinson and Gabe Vincent chipped in with 10 points each.
For the Celtics, Jaylen Brown led the scoring with 19 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists, while Derrick White added 18 points. Despite his ankle injury, Jayson Tatum fought through and played 42 minutes, recording 14 points and 11 rebounds.
With their victory, the Miami Heat become the lowest-scoring team in NBA history to advance to the Finals. They also become the second 8th seed to reach the Finals since the 1999 New York Knicks. This marks the Heat’s second NBA Finals appearance during the Jimmy Butler era and the franchise’s 7th Finals appearance under coach Erik Spoelstra.
The Heat have had an impressive and historic playoff run so far, defeating the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks, the defensively strong New York Knicks, and avenging last year’s loss to the high-octane offensive team, the Boston Celtics. Their next challenge awaits them in Denver, where they will face the formidable Nikola Jokić and the Nuggets. Jokić has been averaging a triple-double throughout the playoffs, breaking Wilt Chamberlain’s record. The Nuggets will undoubtedly provide a tough test for the Heat as they strive for their ultimate goal of an NBA championship.
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