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After a sluggish first half from the Miami Heat, Jimmy Butler woke up from the dead and dominated the second half to win 118-107. — Miami now holds a 1-0 series lead, which isn’t the end of the world considering the series never begins until the home team loses. Jimmy Butler dropped 41 points to go along with his four steals while heat center Bam Adebayo played defensive anchor with four blocks. Maybe time to give Butler his flowers as a top-10 player in the league? He sure filled the shoes of an all-time great tonight.
Tenacious defense all around that had the Celtics’ offense looking exhausted from their long series with Milwaukee. Honestly, that’s probably what happened.
Boston struggled in the second half with entry passes that led to live-ball turnovers one after another, and that’s killer on the road. The Celtics know if they want any chance to steal a game away from TD Garden, ball security and shot making have to tidy up — they looked like a flustered March Madness team tonight and they paid for it, dearly.
Tyler Herro, the usual suspect off the bench for Miami, poured in 18 points to help stay within striking distance for an eventual 41-20 run in the third quarter. Boston also struggled from deep in game 1 shooting 11 for 33 from three-point range. Jayson Tatum scored 29 points with the next highest starter, Jaylen Brown, helping with 24. Not enough to get it done in the Eastern Conference Finals against a well-coached Heat team under Erik Spoelstra.
Provided Boston cleans up their passing game for Thursday’s game 2, they’ll be in good shape. Either way we got ourselves a monster series that we’re all anticipating to go six or seven games.
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