Kyle Lowry defends Marcus Smart

Keys to the Game: Heat 123, Celtics 116

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

Key Moment

Boston entered the fourth quarter trailing by 12 yet had a chance to slice the deficit to three with 2:31 remaining in the contest. Instead, just a minute and 28 seconds later, the Celtics found themselves down by 10 with slim chances at a win.

A missed free throw from Malcolm Brogdon at the 2:31 mark kept Miami’s lead at four and the Heat canned back-to-back triples over the next minute-plus to seal the game. First, Caleb Martin drilled an open 3-pointer from in front of Boston’s bench off of a pass from Jimmy Butler. Then Butler himself drained one from the right wing to make it 120-110 with 1:03 remaining.

That was enough to put this game on ice, as the Celtics never clawed closer than six from that moment on.

Sometimes, that’s how slim the margin is between victory and a defeat. Had Brogdon made his free throw to cut it to three and Martin not connected on his 3-pointer, this game may have very well gone in a different direction. Unfortunately for the C’s, they’ll never know.

Key Player

Marcus Smart logged his first double-double of the postseason during Game 1 against the Miami Heat. Not only did he dish out a game-high 11 assists, but he also scored 13 points on just seven shot attempts.

Smart’s passing skills were on full display during the first half, when he racked up an impressive 10 assists compared to just one turnover. He tossed a couple of alley-oops to Robert Williams, including this highlight-reel toss late in the first half:

His scoring had an uptick during the second half as his passing was contained by Miami. Smart scored 10 points during the second half to trail only Jayson Tatum’s 12 and Jaylen Brown’s 11 on the team.

This performance marked Smart’s first double-double since Jan. 14 against Charlotte. It was his seventh overall double-double of the season.

Box Score Nuggets

- Each team led by at least 12 points, and the contest featured 18 lead changes and 14 ties.

- Malcolm Brogdon led all reserves with 19 points.

- Each team's bench totaled 30 points.

- Boston scored 26 points off of Miami's 15 turnovers, while the Heat scored 22 points off the Celtics' 15 turnovers.

- Jimmy Butler led the game with 35 points. He also grabbed a game-high six steals.

- Jayson Tatum led Boston with 30 points.

- Marcus Smart led the game with 11 assists and also scored 13 points.

- Six Heat players scored at least 15 points.

- Boston outscored Miami 62-40 in the paint.

Quote of the Night

"We got away from who we are in the third quarter."

- Joe Mazzulla on what led to Miami outscoring Boston 46-25 during the third period