Celtics see off the Heat to face Warriors in the NBA Finals
A combined 60 points from Jimmy Butler (35 points) and Bam Adebayo (25 points) was not enough to win Game 7 and face Warriors in the final as Miami Heat lost to Boston Celtics 100-96 in home court, FTX Arena in Miami.
Jayson Tatum’s double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds led the Celtics to a historic win and advance to the final. Celtics’ defensive player of the year, Marcus Smart, too almost had a double- double as he managed to get 24 points and 9 rebounds. It was also a historic moment full of emotions as Celtics' Al Horford was heading to his first NBA finals after 15 seasons.
Celtics shot well in the first quarter shooting 50% and racking up 8 assists. However, it was not an easy quarter for the Heat as they had 6 turnovers and made only a single 3-point shot from seven attempts. For Celtics, they made five threes in the quarter shooting 55.6% form beyond the arc.
The Heat came out strong for the second quarter improving their shooting to 50% and making 12 free-throws from 19 free-throws attempted. Jimmy Butler was feeling it from the mid-range and determined to make it count with every shot he made. The Heat behind at the break by six, 49-55.
It was a tense tight third quarter as both teams were balanced as none was looking to fall behind in every play as the quarter ended 75-82 with Celtics stretching their lead to seven, one more than the previous quarter. It was the final quarter, the most determinant of the game with Heat looking to take it all or tie the game and force overtime? Who knows?
With a couple of seconds left, with the scores 96-99, Jimmy Butler had a great chance to tie the scores as he went for the dagger, 3-pointer, and missed it as his shot fell short and glanced the front part of the rim and Celtics getting the rebound. They [Heat] had to foul so as to stop the clock and make Celtics go to the line. Marcus Smart made it count at the line as he missed one and made one to take Celtics up by four.
In the end it, was Celtics who won 100-96 and were crowned Eastern Conference Champions and will face Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals starting from 2nd June this year.