Boston Celtics come out firing to tie Eastern Conference Finals series with Miami Heat

Tim ReynoldsAP
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The Boston Celtics have beaten the Miami Heat 127-102 to level their NBA playoff series.
Camera IconThe Boston Celtics have beaten the Miami Heat 127-102 to level their NBA playoff series. Credit: AP

Jayson Tatum scored 27 points, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown each had 24 as the Boston Celtics dominated the first half to roll past the Miami Heat 127-102 and tie the NBA Eastern Conference finals at a game apiece.

Smart was a rebound shy of a triple-double, after adding 12 assists and nine rebounds.

Grant Williams scored 19 points for Boston, which used a 17-0 run late in the first quarter - fuelled by five 3-pointers in the span of six possessions - to take control. Payton Pritchard and Al Horford each had 10 for the Celtics.

Jimmy Butler had 29 points in 32 minutes for Miami, which fell to 7-1 at home in these playoffs.

Gabe Vincent and Victor Oladpio each scored 14 points, and Tyler Herro added 11 for the Heat.

The Celtics - now 4-0 in these playoffs in the game immediately following a loss - made 20 shots from 3-point range to Miami’s 10.

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) drives around Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis (11) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Tuesday, March 10, 2020. The Celtics won 114-111. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Camera IconBoston Celtics guard Marcus Smart scored 24 points in the Celtics big game two win. Credit: AJ MAST/AP

And the margin could have been worse: Boston led by as many as 34 points in the fourth, putting this game on the cusp of really good Celtics history and really bad Heat history.

The Celtics’ record for biggest post-season win ever is 40, the Heat record for biggest post-season loss ever is 36, and those numbers were within reach before a meaningless Miami run over the final moments.

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