The Boston Celtics had over 20 turnovers in game 3 and let a golden opportunity get away from them. That wasn’t the case in game 4 as the Celtics’ defense put on a historic performance against the Miami Heat to tie the Eastern Conference Finals up at 2 games a piece.
The Celtics jumped on the Heat from the get-go. The Heat missed their first 14 shots and never got in sync. That was because the Celtics, who hung their calling card all season on defense, felt the urgency to perform well in game 3 and not find themselves going back to Miami down 3-1.
“Urgency,” said Jayson Tatum, who led all scorers with 31 points, when asked to describe Boston’s mindset entering Game 4. “That was a focal point coming into this game, to just have a sense of urgency on both ends of the floor, from start to finish. Really starting the game better, obviously, than we did last game. That’s something that we talked about and something that we executed tonight.”
The Heat’s starting lineup combined for a mere 18 points, shooting 7-for-36 as a group. The 18 points were the fewest by a starting five in a playoff game since the NBA began distinguishing between starters and bench players back in 1970-71, according to ESPN Stats.
While it’s just one game and now this series is a best of 3, the Celtics have looked like the dominant team in their two wins.
Game 5 will be back in Miami on Thursday night.