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May 25, 2023

Home and hope: Can Boston Celtics make Eastern Conference Finals a series again?

Posted: Thursday, May 25, 2023. 6:21 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: There is hope, if only the tiniest of it, after Tuesday night’s 116-99 Game 4 win by the Boston Celtics in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, the Associated Press reports via ESPN.

Now, the Celtics must do it again.

Much of what got the Celtics to the second seed was stripped in the first three games by a relentless, hungry Miami Heat team, but there was something of a return to form in Game 4.

The Heat befuddled Boston in those games. It outshot, outrebounded, outthought and outfoxed the Celtics and made them look ordinary.

Boston showed acumen on both ends in Game 4, rallying during a game-changing 18-0 run in the third quarter. Led by Jayson Tatum ’s 33 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, the Celtics outscored the Heat by 30 points from beyond the arc and turned Miami’s 16 turnovers into 27 points. It also gave the Celtics a blueprint going forward.

But the Heat are still relentless and hungry, and now additionally heated for failing to finish off the Celtics. The game was close for three quarters and Miami still just needs to win one of the final three games to make it back to the NBA Finals for the first time since its run in 2020 in the Florida bubble. Denver is waiting to play the winner after sweeping the Lakers.

Boston won three times on the Heat’s home floor last year in the East finals. With a win tonight, Miami would accomplish the same feat on Boston’s floor this year.

Game time is at 6:30, airing on TNT. We’ll have a full report after the game.


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