The 2020 NBA Eastern Conference Finals are well underway as the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics square off in Orlando. After two back-and-forth games between them Miami has came out on top both times to defeat Boston and take a 2-0 lead.
The Boston Celtics took the lead over Miami early on in game one but Miami’s stellar defense got them back in the game. By halftime, both teams were tied 55-55.
In the second half, the game remained close as guard Marcus Smart and forward Jayson Tatum were both having a spectacular game for the Celtics with a combination of 56 points.
However, it wasn’t enough to top forward Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat. The Celtics built a 12 point lead over Miami in the third quarter after they outscored the Heat 28-16, Miami’s worst scoring quarter in the postseason
At the end of regulation, the game was tied at 106 when Tatum looked to put the game away. Tatum missed a potential game-winning three-pointer and both teams were going to overtime.
With 12 seconds left, Miami had the lead 116-114 after Butler’s and-1. Tatum drove against Butler and went for a dunk to tie the game, but forward Bam Adebayo made one of the biggest defensive plays in recent memory and blocked his shot.
Tatum missed a desperate three-pointer at the buzzer and the Miami Heat took game one.
In game two, the Celtics couldn’t close the game out after taking another double-digit lead. Boston led Miami 60-47 in the first half, but yet again Miami’s defense led them back in the game.
In the third quarter, the Heat outscored the Celtics 37-17 and erased the deficit.
Boston responded in the 4th quarter going on a 15-2 run of their own and holding Miami scoreless for nearly seven minutes.
Miami ultimately got the last laugh after closing the game out on a 17-7 run earning a 106-101 victory and a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven series.
Guard Goran Dragic had a great performance for the Heat, putting up 25 points. Adebayo finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds after a big third quarter where he scored 15.
Guard Kemba Walker lead the Celtics in scoring with 23 points followed by Tatum and forward Jaylen Brown who had 21 points each.
Boston built a double-digit lead and it wasn’t enough to come out victorious for the past two games. They are missing forward Gordon Hayward who averaged 15 points per game this season prior to his injury. He could return and help the Celtics in this series but there is no timetable for his return date.
Even though Boston has a good core and were considered the favorites in this series, Miami is now two wins away from advancing to the 2020 NBA Finals.
There is still a lot of basketball left and if Boston can claw their way back it can be a very interesting series between these two teams with their great coaching, fast-style of play and elite defense.