(Basketball news) The Miami Heat beat the resurgent Boston Celtics in game 7 to win the Eastern Conference title as they beat them 103-84. For the Heat, Jimmy Butler scored 28 points, and Caleb Martin had 26 points and 10 rebounds as Bam Adebayo scored 12 points with 10 rebounds. For the Celtics, game 6 hero Derrick White scored 18 points while Jaylen Brown scored 19 with eight rebounds but went 1 for 9 from 3-point range and committed eight turnovers as Jayson Tatum had an off game as he scored 4 points with 11 rebounds.
The Miami Heat became the first No. 8 seed to reach the NBA Finals since the 1999 New York Knicks.To get there, the Heat had to recover after losing a play-in match against Atlanta and then went on to beat Chicago in a second-chance play-in match. They eliminated the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in five games, then the fifth-seeded Knicks in six. They comfortably lead Boston 3-0, a deficit no NBA team has ever come back from. Three losses later, Miami was on the brink of the wrong kind of history. But Jimmy Butler and co proved their toughness and battled their way to win game 7 at the TD Garden.
“We stayed together as a group. As a team, we talked about going and getting a tough one on the road. We did just that,” Butler said. “But we’re not satisfied. We’re excited. We’re happy. But we’ve got one more to get.”
“Sometimes you have to suffer for the things that you really want,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “This group has shown fortitude, when there are inevitable letdowns and failures, to have that perseverance to pick yourself up, to have that collective spirit to keep on forging ahead until you get to accomplish what you want to.”
“When we were down 3-0, the thing was: How do we want to be defined?” said Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla, who took over the team on the eve of training camp when Ime Udoka was suspended for inappropriate workplace behavior. “I thought they showed a lot of character by even getting to this point.”
“We failed. I failed and we let the whole city down,” Brown said. “In spite of whatever circumstance we had this year we rose to the occasion. We got to this point and we came up short.”
“The hole we put ourselves in, it’s hard. No one’s climbed out of that hole,” said Malcolm Brogdon, who returned after missing Game 6 with an elbow injury but scored zero points in seven minutes. “It was the same tonight: We couldn’t climb out of the hole we created.