Keys to the Game: Celtics 127, Heat 102

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

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Key Moment

Boston didn’t just beat the Miami Heat during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals. It annihilated them – at least for one night.

After a lackluster opening eight minutes of the game, Boston took complete control of the game over the final four minutes of the first quarter. The C’s closed the quarter on a 20-3 run after falling behind 21-15 out of the gates. That run provided them with a 35-24 lead heading into the second quarter, and Boston cruised to the winner’s circle from there.

Four Celtics combined to score those 20 points, the high majority of which were scored from beyond the 3-point line. Jaylen Brown and Grant Williams each canned two 3-pointers, and Marcus Smart and Payton Pritchard each made one. Smart also put home two free throws to round out the 20 points.

Boston’s wave of momentum never slowed the rest of the night as it went on to pull ahead by as many as 34 en route to a 127-102 victory and a 1-1 series tie.

Key Player

Boston is slightly better with Marcus Smart in the lineup, huh?

Marcus Smart returned from a one-game absence and was nothing short of magnificent during Boston’s Game 2 victory. He fell just one rebound shy of logging a triple-double after tossing 24 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds into the box score.

The NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year logged a game-high 40-plus minutes and was outstanding across the board while he was on the floor. He canned five 3-pointers, three 2-pointers and three free throws on the night. He also tallied three steals and one blocked shot, all while Boston outscored Miami by 31 points while he was on the court.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Six Celtics scored in double-figured, including four who scored at least 19 points.
  • Jayson Tatum led Boston with 27 points on only 13 shot attempts.
  • Jimmy Butler led the game with 29 points.
  • Marcus Smart nearly logged a triple-double with 24 points, a game-high 12 assists and nine rebounds.
  • Smart also led the game with three steals, falling just one shy of Miami's team total.
  • Boston led by as many as 34 points.
  • Boston outscored Miami by 39 points during Payton Pritchard's 23-plus minutes of action, and by 37 points during Grant Williams' 32-plus minutes of action.
  • Jaylen Brown scored 24 points, and Williams scored 19 off the bench.
  • No player in the game grabbed double-digit rebounds.
  • Boston shot 20-for-40 from beyond the arc.
  • The C's shot 51.2 percent from the field, 50 percent from long range, and 91.3 percent from the free-throw line during the game.

Quote of the Night

Marcus Smart on how Boston's Game 1 loss benefited Boston