The Celtics defeated the Heat 119-111 in a rematch of the Eastern Conference final
Derrick White scored 28 points, including five three-pointers, as the Boston Celtics beat the Miami Heat 119-111 on Friday night in a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Final.
Jaylen Brown added 27 points and six rebounds. Jayson Tatum finished with 22 points in the last confrontation between the two Eastern teams, who have met in the conference finals three times in the past four seasons.
They split their four meetings last season. Miami then appeared in the playoffs after an uphill seven-game battle in which a 3-0 lead was erased before defeating the Celtics in Game 7 in Boston to advance to their seventh NBA Finals.
Friday’s game, the first of three this season, at times felt like an extension of this series.
Neither team led by more than five points at the end of any of the first three periods, with both teams approaching 50% shooting from the field. There were six ties and six lead changes on the night.
Tyler Herro, who missed the conference finals with a hand injury, scored 28 points and five of 16 3-pointers for Miami. Bam Adebayo added 27 points and seven rebounds. Jimmy Butler finished with 14 points on 3-of-11 shooting.
Miami led 88-87 in the fourth quarter before Boston led 96-90, led by White, who scored eight consecutive points for the Celtics.
Boston’s lead rose to 109-102 with just over four minutes to play before Adebayo blocked a shot from behind by Brown. Butler collected the loose ball, rushed forward and was going for a dunk when White chased him down late and blocked Butler’s dunk attempt.
White’s turnover gave the ball back to Miami and Butler drew Kristaps Porzingis’ sixth foul on a putback attempt. Butler then hit two free throws to cut the Celtics’ lead to 109-104.
Boston got the score back to 112-104 after a layup by Brown and a free throw by Tatum.
But another bout of heat, capped by a 3-pointer from Kevin Love, cut the lead to 114-111 with 59 seconds to play.
White was fouled and connected on both free throws. Herro opened up for another three-point attempt but came up empty. The Celtics pushed the ball up the floor and Brown closed it out with a 3 from the wing.
Boston led 60-55 at halftime.
The Heat came out hot and led by as many as 13 in the first quarter. Miami’s lead increased to 42-35 in the second half after a 3-pointer by Drew Smith. It was one of eight goals in the first 24 minutes for the Heat, who scored eight goals in their season-opening win over Detroit.
But the Celtics rallied defensively over the final eight-and-a-half minutes of the first half, outscoring the Heat 25-13 and forcing five turnovers in the quarter.
The Celtics began the night by honoring the victims of this week’s mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, with several awards. Boston players wore warm-ups for their G League affiliate, the Maine Celtics. In addition, the Celtics wore “Maine” on their jerseys to honor the state as it recovers after a shooter killed 18 people and wounded 13 others at a bowling alley and bar there.
The memories also included a moment of silence before the game.
Heat: Catch a three-game road trip at Minnesota on Saturday.
Celtics: At Washington on Monday.
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(Tags for translation)Boston Celtics