Jimmy Butler scored 41 points to lead the Miami Heat rally to a 118-107 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday night. Also Butler had nine rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocked shots.
Miami had to overcome a 13 point deficit in the third quarter. Tyler Herro had 18 points and eight rebounds while Gabe Vincent scored 17 points for the Heat. Max Strus scored 11 points and Bam Adebayo added 10 points and four blocked shots for Miami. The Heat shot 48.8 percent from the field, including 10 – 30 from three point range.
Miami opened the third quarter with a 22-2 run to turn an eight point halftime deficit into a 76-64 lead. Boston didn’t make a field goal for the first 7:07 of the period.
After the Celtics scored nine straight points to move within three, the Heat finished the quarter with a 17-3 surge to hold the 17 point edge. Boston shot just 13.3 percent from the field in the third period. Herro was fouled while shooting a 3 pointer and made all three free throws to give Miami a 96-76 lead with 10:45 left in the contest. Boston answered with 10 straight points and pulled within 96-86 on two free throws by Grant Williams with 8:21 remaining.
Jayson Tatum had 29 points, eight rebounds, six assists and four steals for the Celtics. Jaylen Brown had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Robert Williams III had 18 points and nine rebounds and Payton Pritchard also scored 18 points for Boston. Game 2 is Thursday night in Miami.