Celtics stave off elimination with Game 4 victory over Heat in Eastern Conference Finals


The Boston Celtics were able to stay alive in the Eastern Conference Finals as they defeated the Miami Heat, 116–99, in Game 4 after a potential sweep.

There is still a lot of work to be done, as no NBA team has ever won a series after being down 3-0. Still, Celtics stars Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart warned the Heat before Game 4, “Don’t let us win tonight.”

They backed it up, and a big reason was a hot second half start.

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Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics controls the ball past Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat in the second quarter of the Eastern Conference Finals at the Kasia Center on May 23, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

A hot third quarter saw the Celtics win the frame by 15-points after trailing 56-50 at halftime. They kept the momentum going in the fourth, and the series will now head back to Boston for Game 5 on Thursday night.

Jayson Tatum, who struggled from the field in Game 3, did very well with the ball in his hands in this one. He was a key reason the Celtics came back, hitting 6-of-8 shots to help Boston go 14-of-22 from the field in the third quarter.

On the other hand, the Heat couldn’t match that offensive production, as they went 7-21 in the third.

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Miami has shown its ability to burst back in the fourth quarter, which they did in Game 2 of this series to stun the Celtics, but Boston has learned from that mistake. They won the quarter 28-20 and staved off a season-ending loss for now.

Tatum finished the game with 34 points on 14-of-22 from the field, including 5-of-9 from three-point land, while hauling in 11 rebounds and dishing out seven assists. He also provided a steal and two blocks on the defensive side of the ball.

Malcolm Brogdon dribbles

Malcolm Brogdon #13 of the Boston Celtics runs past Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat during game four of the Eastern Conference Finals on May 23, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

Every Celtic starter had double-digit points, including Brown (16) and Smart (11). Derrick White (16) and Al Horford (12) also hit three pointers each.

Grant Williams was able to drop 14 points off the bench for Boston while adding six boards and two assists.

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Jimmy Butler was the Heat’s leading scorer with 29 points, 10 of which came at the charity stripe. He had nine rebounds to lead the team.

Gabe Vincent had 17 points, while Caleb Martin had 16 off the bench for Miami.

The Heat were inefficient from beyond the arc, which is uncharacteristic of them this postseason. He shot just 25% with 8-of-32 3-pointers.

Jayson Tatum is driving to the hoop

Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics runs past Caleb Martin #16 of the Miami Heat during game four of the Eastern Conference Finals on May 23, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

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Game 5 tips off at 8:30 pm ET in Boston, where the Denver Nuggets, who defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, will continue to await their NBA Finals opponent.

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