The Miami Heat took Game 1 against Boston, thanks to a dominant third quarter and the absence of two key Celtics players in the opener. Game 2, though, was a completely different story as the Celtics controlled most of the game en route to an impressive showing on both sides of the court. The return of Marcus Smart (mid-foot sprain) and Al Horford (COVID-19 protocol) fueled the 127-102 win as Boston evened the series, and can now take the lead. With Kyle Lowry making his return to the lineup for Game 3, the Heat have enjoyed the same type of boost and have jumped out to a 62-47 lead after one half.
Smart showed why his presence was so vital for Boston in Game 2. The Defensive Player of the Year played a near-flawless game and helped the Celtics overpower the Heat on both offense and defense. Jayson Tatum (27 points), Smart (24) and Jaylen Brown (24) led the way for Boston, which proved too much for Miami. Jimmy Butler finished with a game-high 29 points, but couldn’t carry the Heat on his own against the Celtics’ suffocating defense. They’ll try to bounce back and reclaim the series lead, but doing it in Boston will be far from easy. Miami is 2-3 on the road this postseason.
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