NEW YORK, May 21 (Xinhua) -- Bam Adebayo's 31 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals helped the Miami Heat defeat the Boston Celtics 109-103 in Game 3 of the 2021-2022 NBA season Eastern Conference finals on Saturday to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
Max Strus led the Heat to have an 8-2 run at the beginning of the game. Then all starters of the Heat scored in the first four minutes, providing the Eastern top-seeded team double-digit advantages. Adebayo scored 12 and the Heats finished the first quarter 39-18.
After a 7-2 run, the Heat enlarged the gap to 26 in the midway of the second quarter. Although the Celtics were checked in the offense as they only made 3 of 12 attempts beyond the arc in the first half, the Green put on a more aggressive defense, cutting the deficits to 15 at halftime.
At the start of the second half, Miami announced that guard Jimmy Butler won't come back in Game 3 due to a knee injury which also force him to miss Game 5 of the Heat's first-round series with the Hawks.
The Celtics chased down the Heat's lead to 9 points in the third quarter but the wave was soon dismissed by Tyler Herro's four points and an assist, giving the Heat an 87-72 lead before the final period.
With 8:42 remaining on the clock, Grant Williams narrowed the gap to one digit for the home team through a three-pointer. In the midway of the fourth quarter, Jaylen Brown brought the Celtics a 12-0 run, making his team only trail by one.
But the Celtics had two consecutive fatal turnovers, seeing the rival score seven points off them and seal the victory.
Before exiting, Butler had eight points, three rebounds and two assists. Strus added 16 points and four rebounds for the Heat.
Brown led the box score with 40 points. Al Horford of the Celtics pocketed a double-double with 20 points and 14 rebounds.
Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals will be played on May 23 in Boston.