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Friday night in the 2023 NBA Playoffs saw the Miami Heat overcome a 12-point deficit for their sixth double-digit comeback win of the postseason, shocking the Boston Celtics in Game 2 with a 111-105 win.
A Game of Runs
Game 2 was defined by a series of runs from both teams. The Heat led 22-14 early before the Celtics rallied to take a 25-24 lead into the second quarter. It ended up being a 21-2 run by Boston, but the Heat bounced right back with a 19-2 run of their own to lead 54-50 at halftime.
Caleb Martin had a big impact early with 14 points in the first half. The Celtics saw Jaylen Brown struggle again as he shot 3-of-12 from the field in the first half. Jayson Tatum was aggressive early, not showing the poor early play he had in much of the Philadelphia series.
But the Heat are a resilient team that does not let the game slip away from them even when the Celtics go on impressive runs at home.
A Banner Night for Caleb Martin and Bam Adebayo
Jimmy Butler has carried Miami this postseason, and he was again a key figure in Game 2 with 27 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals. But he also got great help once again from his teammates.
Bam Adebayo had a big game, and the Heat are much harder to beat when he is playing at an All-Star level. Adebayo had 22 points, 17 rebounds, and 9 assists.
Few expected Caleb Martin to score 25 points, but he did that in an impressive showing off the bench on 11-of-16 shooting. Duncan Robinson also made 3-of-6 from 3-point territory in a game where neither team made more than 10 3s.
That has been a huge problem for Boston in this series so far. The Celtics were just 10-of-35 from 3 as the Heat are not allowing them to get a good volume of 3-point shots. Tatum (3-of-10) and Brown (1-of-7) combined to shoot 4-for-17 from 3. Derrick White was 3-for-5 and had a strong first half, but for some reason he only played 23 minutes in the game.
This is the first time all season the Celtics have failed to make more than 10 3s in back-to-back games. The inexperience of Boston coach Joe Mazzulla is rightfully drawing a lot of attention now, especially when he goes up against one of the best in Erik Spoelstra.
For some reason, Grant Williams ended up playing nearly the entire fourth quarter when all he did was agitate Butler, who scored 9 points in the final frame. Tatum again melted in crunch time with 2 turnovers and 0-for-3 shooting. Tatum was called for a charge with 1:38 left with the Celtics down 103-100.
Adebayo had some huge offensive rebounds and a putback dunk to give the Heat a 105-100 lead in the last minute. Tatum was fortunate to draw a weak foul call on a 3-point shot, making all the free throws to make it 105-103. But Gabe Vincent took a courageous shot to push the lead back to 107-103. The Heat made their free throws to secure the win while Tatum and Brown missed more 3s.
When the road team takes a 2-0 lead in the Conference Finals, they are 15-0 in the series in NBA history. The Celtics are in major trouble with Game 3 in Miami.
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