Goading Jimmy Butler is not a good idea. Grant Williams’ goal in the last quarter of Friday’s game seemed to be to throw the Miami Heat star off center. He scored a triple and faced him. On the next attack, Butler returned the basket (with an extra shot) and they faced each other again. In another two successive attacks he again beat Williams, who ended up on the bench. From the kick, the Heat made a 9-24 series, took the game and took a giant step in the Eastern Conference final, in which they lead 0-2.
The Miami Heat have never lost in a series where they started by winning the first two games. This time, in addition, they have gone ahead at home. The tie now travels to Miami where Game 3 and Game 4 are played on Sunday and Tuesday. The Celtics haven’t accomplished the feat of turning such a situation around since 1969, but last year they achieved their decisive victories in the Heat arena.
Butler has once again been the star of the game for his team, with 27 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals. His influence on the game is decisive beyond the numbers. With him on the court, the Heat are capable of overcoming any adversity.
This Friday they have gone 12 points behind in the last quarter (89-77), but even so the Celtics have not been able to prevail. “We never give up. We love us. We trust each other”, Butler answered on television on the court at the end of the game.
Bam Adebayo’s party has not been far behind. With 22 points, 16 rebounds and 9 assists, he has become the master under the basket. Caleb Martin, who started the game on the bench, scored 25 points, very inspired from the 3-point line.
On the part of the Celtics, with 34 points, 13 rebounds and 8 assists, it cannot be said that Jayson Tatum has been bad. And yet, at the moment of truth, he has not been able to unbalance the game in favor of his team. In the last quarter he has failed again, as in the first game. Jaylen Brown, with 16 points, has again been somewhat below his level and the Dominican to Horford, with only 2 points and 4 rebounds, has never been able to stand up to Adebayo.
At times, the Celtics gritted their teeth on defense and were able to stop Butler and his team. They managed to turn the score around in the first quarter, which ended 25-24. Miami prevailed in the second 25-30 and reached halftime with a 4-point lead, but once again the Celtics made full use of it in the third quarter and achieved a 33-21 run with which they reached the decisive moment with an advantage. from 83-75 in his favor.
The Miami Heat, however, are specializing in winning streaks and turning around games that seem lost. hand in hand with jimmy play off Butler, put together a 22-36 run in the fourth quarter, especially since Williams came up with the idea of facing off with the morph player in the playoffs.
The Boston Celtics were second in the regular season, while the Miami Heat were eighth in the Eastern Conference and qualified at the last moment for the playoffs, but then surprised Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks, favorites for the title, and eliminated them in the first round. Later he gave an account with relative comfort of the New York Knicks.
Now, the Milwaukee Bucks executioners seek revenge for last year’s East final, which they lost in the last game against the Celtics. In case of winning it, the winner of the tie between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets will face the ring, in which the latter have won the first two games at home. This Saturday, the tie continues in Los Angeles.
You can follow EL PAÍS Sports on Facebook and Twitteror sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.