NBA: Miami Heat draws first blood in the Eastern Conference final


NBA: Miami Heat draws first blood in the Eastern Conference final
2022-05-18 04:52 PM
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(Basketball news) Miami Heat drew first blood against Boston Celtics in the first game as they beat 118-107. For the Heat, Butler scored 27 of his 41 points in the second half as Tyler Herro scored 18 and Gabe Vincent added 17 points while Max Strus scored 11 and Bam Adebayo added 10. For the Celtics, Jayson Tatum led the scoring with 29, they were without starters Marcus Smart (foot) and Al Horford (health and safety protocols). Jaylen Brown added 24 for Boston, which got 18 apiece from Robert Williams III and Payton Pritchard. They will play the next game on 19th May in the FTX Arena in Miami.

''Jimmy Butler is an elite competitor,'' Spoelstra said. ''There's a lot of guys in this league that are playing basketball. He's competing to win. That's a totally different thing and he does that as well as anybody in this league.''

''We won three quarters other than that, but obviously that one is going to stand out,'' Celtics coach Ime Udoka said. ''We semi-bounced back in the fourth and started to play well again and matched their physicality, but 39-14 on 2-for-15 is tough to overcome.''

''I continued to play basketball the right way: Shoot the ball when I'm open, attack, hit the open guy,'' Butler said. ''Honestly, it was a team effort.''

''It wasn't anything different that they did,'' Udoka said. ''They just came out and imposed their will.''

''Our energy shifted,'' Adebayo said. ''That was the biggest key.''

''Other than the third quarter, I think we won every other quarter,'' Pritchard said. ''Obviously, we try not to let that happen next time.''

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