Wed, 06 Jul 2022

Celtics thrash Heat to even NBA series 2-2

24 May 2022, 17:05 GMT+10

WASHINGTON, May 23 (Xinhua) -- With Jayson Tatum's 31 points, the Boston Celtics thrashed the Miami Heat 102-82 to tie their NBA Eastern Conference finals series 2-2 on Monday.

The Heat were routed in the first quarter, misfiring on their first 14 shots while Bam Adebayo's one point from a free throw barely avoided the embarrassment. The away team got the first field goal at 3:22, a 3-pointer by Victor Oladipo. The Celtics led 29-11 in the first quarter.

With Miami's offense unable to penetrate a defense bolstered by the return of Robert Williams, the Celtics kept the pressure on in the second quarter, extending the lead to 27 points. Jimmy Butler contributed just six points, and the Heat's starters totaled 10 points in the first half. Oladipo was the only one from the Heat squad to step out as he scored 18 points off the bench.

The Celtics stretched their advantage to 32 in the third quarter, and any hopes Miami had of mounting a second-half fightback were quickly snuffed out. The departure of Williams helped Miami cut the deficit to 23 points at 73-50, but it was only a temporary reprieve.

Boston continued to score steadily at the start of the fourth quarter and set a 31-point lead at 88-57 with just under nine minutes remaining before sealing the final victory.

Jayson Tatum rediscovered his scoring touch with 31 points, as well as eight rebounds and five assists. Payton Pritchard had 14 points for the Celtics.

Victor Oladipo led the Heat with 23 points. Miami's starting five were a combined 7 of 36 shooting and all sat out the fourth quarter.

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