Despite 29 points and six rebounds from Jimmy Butler, the Miami Heat lost to the Boston Celtics, 127-102, losing home-court advantage as the series shifts to Boston tied up at 1-1.
“This only counts as one,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “That’s what the experienced players in the locker room and staff understand. We don’t like it. They played extremely well. You have two really good teams, and we just have to figure some things out.”
The Miami Heat will have to have a short memory before Game 3 after this blowout loss. Everything that could’ve gone wrong did after Miami raced out to a 10-point in the opening minutes of the first quarter. That was about the only bright spot of the night before Boston went on a 17-0 fueled by five made triples in six possessions. The superstar duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined to score 51 points, including 33 in the first half.
Boston eventually outscored Miami by 39 points in the next 18 minutes and headed into the locker room with a 70-45 lead at halftime. After the break, Butler did everything he could to bring Miami back into the game, cutting the lead to 17 after scoring 16 points in the third quarter.
However, Boston responded with a 12-2 run to shut the door on any comeback bid, restoring a 27-deficit while heading into the final frame with a 96-71 lead that was never threatened. Had Miami not gone on a late run, Game 2 of the 2022 Miami-Boston ECF series would’ve set a Miami record for the biggest loss in their franchise history. Miami avoided that historic achievement, but Boston broke their franchise record for the biggest road playoff game lead at halftime (25).
“It has to hurt,” Butler said. “They tried to embarrass us. They did embarrass us. — Overall, we just have to be better.”
The next time Miami and Boston meet will be Saturday’s Game 3 in TD Garden. Whoever wins Game 3 will leave with a 2-1 series and home-court advantage.
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