BOSTON (AP) – Heat was embarrassing in Game 2, giving the Celtics a home-court advantage in their Eastern Conference final matchup.
Miami bounced back in Game 3, with a 26-point lead in the first half and a 109-103 victory, with star Jimmy Butler sitting out in the second half with a swollen right knee. Tyler Hero also missed the last eight minutes of the fourth quarter due to a knee injury.
With the late injuries of Boston’s Jason Tatum (Stinger) and Marcus Smart (ankle ankle), the Celtics missed the chance to take control of the series and now try to avoid losing a back-to-back game for the first time in two months. .
In addition to Tatum and Smart, center Robert Williams III sat out of Game 3 due to swelling in his left knee, which had been surgically repaired.
As expected, Celtics coach Ime Udoka said the trainer’s table was busy on Saturday.
“Marcus’s ankle is slightly swollen. Too bad. The game is over, but he will feel a little better today, “said Udoka.
“Working and getting treatment. See how he feels tomorrow. Jason is fine. He’s a stinger who’s gone too soon. And Rob has improved. He’s feeling better than yesterday.… It’s day by day. We’ll test him tomorrow Let’s see how it feels. “
Tatum (Nerve Trauma) is possible for Game 4, with both Smart and Williams listed as suspicious.
Miami held on to victory over Boston with a late-game charge and took a 2-1 lead in the series. The Heat also completed their first-round series against Atlanta without both Butler and Kyle Lowry.
Laurie made his debut in the series on Saturday, completing 11 points, six assists and four steals in 29 minutes. He missed eight of the last 10 matches due to a right hand injury.
He said it felt good to be back, but admitted that it was difficult to add both Butler and Hero to his injury list – possibly leaving Miami with less than full strength again.
“It’s always fun to have the opportunity to be there with my kids,” Laurie said. “Injury is a part of the game. That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there. Jimmy is a warrior. Tyler is a warrior. But we should focus on what we did as a group … and hopefully those people will come back and get ready for the next game. ”
The Heat listed Butter (knee), Lori (hamstring), Herrero (Groin), Max Strauss (hamstring), Gabe Vincent (hamstring) and PJ Tucker (knee) as suspects for Game 4.
Whoever is finally available in Miami on Monday, Udoka said the Celtics will be responsible for limiting their inaccurate errors.
Boston turned the ball around 2022 playoff-high 24 times in Game 3, giving Miami 33 points. Heat had 22 more shots than the Celtics.
“Obviously those things are different and we were playing a lot in front of the crowd, trying to do a lot and without even a simple pass,” Udoka said. “When you look at those areas, sometimes we have a good carryover, but sometimes we take a step back.
Tatum said avoiding Miami’s magic number of 39 would also be paramount. Miami had a 39-point third quarter to gain control of Game 1 and beat Celtics 39-18 in the first quarter of Game 3.
“There is no reason. We can’t find them 39 points in the first quarter. Naturally, we were trying to beat the rest of the game, “said Tatum. “So we should definitely start the game better.”