Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) and Miami Heat forward Duncan Robinson (55) rebound in the second half during Game 7 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals in Boston on Monday.
The Miami Heat shut out the Boston Celtics in the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals on Monday, winning a decisive Game 7 103-84 to advance to the NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets.
The road victory for the Heat prevented the Celtics from becoming the first NBA team to win a seven-game series after losing the first three games.
“There are some incredible competitors in that locker room. They love a challenge,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “They want to put themselves out there in front of everybody. Open to criticism. Open to all. ”
Celtics point guard Malcolm Brodken said he thought his team played tight and that affected their results on both ends of the court.
“I thought (the Heat) played loose. I thought they really executed on the defensive end,” said the league’s sixth man of the game. “Then they were ready on offense. They weren’t in a hurry, they weren’t nervous.
Eighth-seeded Miami had to come through the play-in tournament, but its underdog status has had no impact on its impressive playoff run thus far.
Against Boston on Monday, Miami forward Jimmy Butler led the way with 28 points, while forward Caleb Martin scored 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Boston shot a blistering 39% from the field as a team, and no Celtics game managed to score 20 points.
Many teams tried, and a few came close, but ultimately failed in trying to achieve all the comebacks., Net 0 for 151 attempts.
Most teams don’t go 0-3.
This Boston team marks the fourth team to force a Game 7 following an 0-3 start in a series: The New York Knicks forced a Game 7 against the Rochester Royals in the 1951 NBA Finals. Denver Nuggets Almost made history in the 2003 Western Conference first round against the Dallas Mavericks in the 1994 Western Conference Semifinals against the Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers.
The Heat, winners of three NBA titles, most recently in 2013, face the top-seeded Nuggets on Thursday in Denver.
The Nuggets haven’t played in a week since defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals last Monday.
Spoelstra’s team beat Giannis Antetokounmpo and the No. 1-ranked player Milwaukee Bucks In the first round, before winning the battle against the Knicks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Despite Boston’s regular season record, the no. 2 struggled throughout the postseason. The Celtics took six games and another seven to overcome the seventh-ranked Atlanta Hawks. Go through the Philadelphia 76ers.
It brought the Heat and Celtics together in the Eastern Conference Finals. The series is an incredible display of drama and tension, and the pace slows and flows.
A stellar performance by Butler and the Miami supporting cast gave the Heat a 3-0 lead in the series.
Butler has been one of the stars of the NBA postseason and continued this form in the opening games of the series against the Celtics.
With Tyler Hero missing due to injury, head coach Erik Spoelstra had to look for other alternatives to support his star man. Gabe Vincent and Martin have come up big in clutch time and throughout the series.
Isaac Baldison/NBAE/Getty Images
Miami role players Gabe Vincent and Caleb Martin are clutch for the Heat.
However, the Celtics won Game 4 and Game 5 in comfortable fashion, with Jayson Tatum showing his ability in win-or-go-home games. Back-to-back blowouts saw Boston take the series back to Miami Game 6 – The most important game of the series so far.
Buoyed by the support of their home crowd, the Heat finally regained their momentum and had enough to become Eastern Conference champions.
The Heat held a one-point advantage with three seconds left on the clock, but with the ball in Boston’s hands, it was too far. As Marcus Smart attempted a game-winning three, the ball bounced off the rim and Derrick White hit a buzzer-beating putback, giving the Celtics the edge.
“It was great. Everyone was saying to me, ‘Did you drop it?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, I think so,’ but it was so close, you never know,” White later told reporters. “We’re glad we got the win. However, we’ve got to do it, and we did it, and now it’s Game 7.
Unfortunately for the Celtics, the Game 7 hill was too steep to cross again.