Miami Heat one win away from NBA Finals after blowing out Boston Celtics in Game 3


The Miami Heat, who took two games on the road in Boston to start the Eastern Conference Finals, are just one win away from the NBA Finals after beating the Boston Celtics in Game 3, at home, 128-102.

Last year, after a back-and-forth series, the Celtics eliminated the Heat in seven games. Now, Miami gets its chance at revenge.

And, Game 4 will be in Florida.

The Heat have loved home court this postseason, winning all three home games during their second-round series with the New York Knicks and they kept their momentum Sunday night. 

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Jayson Tatum looks to pass

Cody Zeller #44 of the Miami Heat defends against Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics during the second quarter in game three of the Eastern Conference Finals at Kaseya Center on May 21, 2023 in Miami, Florida.  (Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

The Heat were off to a hot start, winning the first quarter 30-22 and then heading into halftime with a solid 61-48 lead. 

As the Heat has shown, they are a second-half team that can make teams pay with explosive third-quarter production. Once again, that was the case and the Celtics had no answer. 

Miami outscored Boston 32-17 in the third quarter and the recipe for success was something that’s become apparent throughout these playoffs: The Heat have scorers everywhere on the floor. 

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Normally, all eyes are on Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, but this game saw six different Heat players scoring in the double digits, including Caleb Martin and Duncan Robinson off the bench. In fact, they had 11 and 10 points respectively to set the tone in the first half. They finished with 18 points and 22, respectively.

Gabe Vincent was the team’s leading scorer, dropping 29 points with a highly efficient 11-of-14 from the field, including six made three-pointers. He had two rebounds, three assists, one steal, and a block.  

Butler and Adebayo also contributed to the dominant win. 

Butler had 16 points with eight rebounds and six assists while notching two steals. 

Adebayo did not have to rebound much as Miami shot 56.8% from the field as a team. He finished with 13 points, three rebounds and two assists. 

Jaylen Brown drives

Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics drives the lane against Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat during the first quarter in game three of the Eastern Conference Finals at Kaseya Center on May 21, 2023 in Miami, Florida.  (Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

For the Celtics, they accepted defeat when their reserves took the floor in the fourth quarter, while the starters pondered how they let the series slip so early. 

Jayson Tatum was among them, as he had a poor night from the floor.

After scoring 30 points in Game 1 and 34 in Game 2, Tatum notched just 14 Sunday night.

He shot 6-of-18, including 1-of-7 from behind the three-point line. He had 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals. 

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Jaylen Brown had a similar line to his All-Star counterpart, tallying only 12 points on 6-of-17 shooting, which included missing all seven of his three-point attempts. 

No one else could pick up the slack offensively, as Al Horford, Marcus Smart and Derrick White — the remainder of the starting five — had single digits in the points column. 

The only negative to pull away for Miami was veteran forward Kevin Love not returning after an apparent injury during the game. 

Caleb Martin and Duncan Robinson shake hands

Caleb Martin #16 and Duncan Robinson #55 of the Miami Heat react during the second quarter against the Boston Celtics in game three of the Eastern Conference Finals at Kaseya Center on May 21, 2023 in Miami, Florida.  (Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

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Game 4 of the series will tip off on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. ET in Miami, and Boston will have to win if they want to defend their Eastern Conference championship. 



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