Celtics Wrap: Heat Eliminate Boston From Playoffs With 125-113 Game 6 Win

Miami is off to the Finals

by Abigail Adams

September 27, 2020

The Celtics’ season is over.

The Miami Heat punched their ticket to the NBA Finals on Sunday, eliminating Boston from the playoffs with a 125-113 victory in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.

It was a team effort for the Heat, with six of eight players scoring double figures. Bam Adebayo (32 points) led the charge with Jimmy Butler (22 points) and Tyler Herro (19 points) close behind.

Boston had five players score double figures, too, with four of its five starters notching 20-plus points. But it wasn’t enough to push a Game 7.

And just like that, the Celtics’ offseason has begun.

Here’s how it all went down:

PG: Kemba Walker
SG: Marcus Smart
SF: Jaylen Brown
PF: Jayson Tatum
C: Daniel Theis

Both teams struggled a bit with their shots early but quickly found their rhythm.

The Heat found an early edge on the Celtics, but Boston took its first lead of the game midway through the quarter after Smart knocked down back-to-back threes.

Miami found its range late in the quarter, taking a seven-point lead thanks to a couple of key triples of its own. They shot 50 percent from beyond the arc in the first 10 minutes.

Brown was a bright spot for Boston with 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting. Tatum, meanwhile, got off to another quiet start, going 0-for-5 from the field.

The Celtics’ offense gained steam at the end of the quarter, but the Heat wrapped up the first with a 33-27 lead. Boston sank just nine of its 22 shots (40.9 percent) in the first 10 minutes.

The C’s looked much more cohesive in the second.

Boston dominated Miami’s zone defense, something that’s given the team some trouble throughout this series. This allowed them to slowly chip away at the Heat’s lead — and eventually regain the lead.

Tatum started heating up in the second, nabbing 12 points (including two triples) on 5-for-10 shooting from the field.

Smart, meanwhile, recorded all 12 of his first-half points on four triples. He shot 50 percent from beyond the arc.

Boston went back on top late in the second and traded buckets with Miami for the rest of the half, but found themselves down two entering halftime nonetheless.

The Celtics’ did improve their shooting to 48 percent. Turnovers remained an issue, however, with Boston committing seven in the second alone.

The Celtics ran into a bit of trouble early, but made up for it with some stellar stuff later in the quarter.

Kemba Walker and Daniel Theis found themselves with four fouls each early in the quarter. Walker got an early second-half break as a result while Theis held down the fort.

The Heat’s explosive offense was a major problem for Boston’s defense, too, opening up a nine-point advantage at one point in the quarter. Boston didn’t help its cause with several missed layups, and it cost them some much-needed points down the stretch.

But Boston remained resilient, tying things up once again with just 46.6 seconds on the clock on a massive dunk by Smart.

Miami held a two-point lead entering the final frame. Boston and Miami scored 26 points apiece in the third.

The Celtics’ season was on the line, but Boston simply couldn’t pull out the W.

Brown kicked off the quarter with a nasty dunk to give Boston a 90-88 lead. He was slow to get up after the play, but rebounded quickly with another bucket just two minutes later to boost the C’s advantage to six.

But that lead didn’t last long with Herro on the court. The 20-year-old posted five points in 30 seconds to knot the game a 96 all.

The Heat regained the lead with a big dunk courtesy of Adebayo but Tatum tied things back up with a 27-foot 3-pointer.

Adebayo wasn’t done there, though, with four of Miami’s next six points. The Heat extended their lead to seven with 4:31 on the clock, prompting Stevens to call a timeout.

In the end, Boston simply couldn’t find the bottom of the net when it needed to most. Miami capitalized, taking a 15-point lead with two minutes left to play.

And with that, the Heat are off the the Finals. The Celtics, meanwhile, are heading home.

Just, wow.

The Celtics now look to the offseason, but it won’t be long until we see them again should the NBA begin its next season in the winter.

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
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