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Thursday, June 30, 2022
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HomeSportsNBAHeat top Celtics behind Adebayo's double-double for series lead, but lose Butler...

Heat top Celtics behind Adebayo’s double-double for series lead, but lose Butler to injury


Bam Adebayo scored 31 points with 10 rebounds for the Miami Heat, who blew a 25-point, first-half lead and lost Jimmy Butler to a knee injury but held on to beat hosts Boston Celtics 109-103 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday night.

Boston never led in the game, but erased almost all of the 62-37 deficit and came within one point, 93-92, with 2:40 to play on a 3-pointer from Jaylen Brown, who finished with 40 points.

Max Strus answered with a 3 and then Adebayo bounced off defender Al Horford and made a basket at the shot clock buzzer to give Miami a six-point cushion it held to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Game 4 is Monday night in Boston.

In a game that saw Butler and Boston’s Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart leave with injuries — though both Celtics returned — Kyle Lowry came back from a four-game absence and scored 11 with six assists for the Heat. P.J. Tucker — like Lowry a game-time decision — scored 17 for the Heat.

Horford scored 20 points with 14 rebounds, and Smart scored 16. Tatum had 10 points on 3-for-14 shooting; he also had six turnovers and Brown committed seven of Boston’s 24 turnovers — a 2022 playoff high.

After losing Game 2 at home by 25 points to cede home-court advantage to the Celtics, the Heat opened a 62-37 lead with under three minutes left in the second quarter and then watched Boston score the last 10 points of the half to claw its way back into the game.

Things got worse for the Heat when they announced at halftime that Butler, who scored 41 in the series opener, would not return with right knee inflammation.

Miami still led by 15, 87-72, after three, and made it a 17-point game on Adebayo’s basket to start the fourth. But the Celtics ran off the next nine points to get within single digits for the first time since the first three minutes of the game. Trailing 93-80, the Celtics scored 12 straight points – 10 by Brown – to make it a one-point game with 2:40 left.





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