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NBA Playoffs: Celtics find shooting stroke, ride scorching third quarter after heat, avoid sweep

May 23, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) shoots against Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry (7) in the third quarter during game four of the Eastern Conference Finals for the 2023 NBA Playoffs at Kaseia Center. Mandatory credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

South Beach will not be swept.

The Boston Celtics shot hot from long range with a 116-99 win over the Miami Heat on Tuesday and a stellar third quarter. The win prevented a sweep by the Heat and forced a Game 5 in the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday.

The Heat took a 4–0 series lead at home in Tuesday’s game. They got off to a good start in the first half of 18–5 and 20–11, and took a 56–50 lead at halftime. But after the break, Boston made their will.

Trailing 61–52 in the third, the Celtics took control of the game with a 19–0 run in a span of 3:04. They ended the race with a 70–62 lead that they would not relinquish. After struggling to connect deep all series, the Celtics found themselves in the third, connecting on 7 of 12 3-point attempts and outscoring the Heat 38–23. He kept the pressure on through the fourth to put any semblance of a stamp on the Heat’s rally.

While the Celtics shot well from distance, they also found the elite defense that had been their trademark during the regular season and shut them out in the first three games of the series. He accelerated his second half rally with points off turnovers, limiting Miami from long range. They outscored the Heat 66-43 in the second half.

By the time it did, Boston shot 51.2% from the field and 19 of 45 (42.2%) from long range. He entered Game 4 after connecting on 31 of 106 (29.2%) 3-pointers in the first three games of the series. This was a team that was the sixth-best (37.7%) 3-point shooting team in the NBA during the regular season.

Jayson Tatum led the way for Boston with 34 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 blocks and one steal. He went 14 of 34 in the third quarter and 26 total after halftime. He connected on 5 of 9 shots from beyond the arc. He was one of five Boston players to connect on 3 or more 3-pointers. Grant Williams hit 4 of 6 from long range off the bench en route to 14 points.



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