Miami is only one step away from its first NBA Final since 2014. On Wednesday, the Heat beat the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals as hotly contested as the previous ones (112 -109). It was hard fought and with strong nerves in the last moments (5 of 6 on free throws in the last fifteen seconds) that the Floridians ended up securing this precious victory which allows them to lead three wins to one in this series. .
Throughout the evening, they could count on a (young) man: Tyler Herro. The twenty-year-old rookie delivered an exceptional game, ending with 37 points. A single player under the age of twenty-one has scored so many points in a play-offs : Magic Johnson with 42 in 1980. “Tyler Herro’s shots made the difference in this game. He was so good ”, admitted Brad Stevens, the Boston coach.
The two faces of Jayson Tatum
Beyond his statistics (14 out of 21 shooting and 50% success at three points), Herro has above all shown that no situation scares him. He scored 17 points in the last quarter, when Boston finally had the right fuel (up 12 points behind) in the wake of a found Jayson Tatum. The Celtics player arrived at halftime with zero points on the clock (0 of 6 shooting) before waking up in the middle of the third quarter to finally register 28 points over the last nineteen minutes of play.
But Herro did have the last word. With 4 minutes remaining, it was with the assurance of a veteran that he challenged Marcus Smart before planting a three-point basket of nine good yards under the nose of the opposing best defender, pushing the Celtics to eight. points (98-90). And at the start of the last minute, he showed himself in another register. While Jimmy Butler seemed in great difficulty after 24 seconds of possession, he arrived thrown like a ball under the basket to offer a solution to his teammate and give his team a good margin (+9, 107-98 with 56 seconds to play). This little mattress was more than necessary as Boston never gave up. And there, again Herro was illustrated by his composure with two crucial free throws thirteen seconds from the end, returned without trembling.
In its history, the Miami Heat has led a series of play-offs by three wins to one. And never has the Florida franchise been eliminated in such a situation.
For Miami, the Butler-Goran Dragic-Bam Adebayo trio provided the essentials (24, 22 and 20 points respectively), forgetting the failures of Jae Crowder (1 of 9) and Duncan Robinson (0/5). Celtics side, Jaylen Brown brought 21 points and 9 rebounds, Kemba Walker 20 points and Gordon Hayward, who became a father for the fourth time earlier in the day, 14 points and 7 rebounds. We will have to do even more on Friday to hope to play at least one more game and avoid a qualification in the Heat final.