On Thursday night, the Miami Heat rallied from an early 17-point deficit to beat the Boston Celtics 106-101 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals as Goran Dragic scored a game-high 25 points and Bam Adebayo had 15 of his 21 during a furious third-quarter comeback.
The Celtics, just as in Game 1, looked like they had it under control, stretching the lead all the way up to 17 points in the second quarter, and were enjoying a very good offensive play. But this time, the turnaround was fast and even more brutal: The Miami Heat went on a 20-4 run in the third quarter and took a seven-point lead into the final frame.
Miami have found a way to hold off the No. 3-seeded team using a combination of its 2-3 zone and switching to take them completely out of rhythm.
The Heat mixed in some full-court pressure, too, and made Boston look like a totally different team than it was early in the game.
The Celtics, however, responded offensively and defensively after their cold stretch, ensuring the Heat missed 10 of its first 12 shots in the final frame while Boston went on a 15-2 run. But then, the Miami Heat persevered to secure a 106-101 victory and take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals thanks largely to late-game heroics from guard Goran Dragic.
The Celtics played a near-perfect defensive possession with less than 2 minutes to play until Dragic hit an off-the-dribble 3 over big man Daniel Theis to give the Heat a 100-95 lead. He then hit another jumper over Theis on the next possession and went on to finish with 25 points on 10-for-19 shooting, plus five assists.
“Goran, you know, their defense is really good,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It’s really good, they can flatten you out. And sometimes that’s what is needed. For some games, you just need to create something out of nothing, and Goran was able to do that down the stretch.”
Boston’s Jaylen Brown did hit a pair of clutch 3s, but missed one in the corner that would have tied it with 15 seconds left.
- Points: Goran Dragic – 25
- Assists: Dragic/Herro – 5
- Rebounds: Bam Adebayo – 10
- Points: Kemba Walker – 23
- Assists: Tatum/Smart – 4
- Rebounds: Daniel Theis – 8
Heat lead series 2-0