Though the duo combined for 34 points, it was their veteran presence that helped the team make it a 1-1 series as it shifts back to Boston.
Both Smart and Horford missed Game 1 due to a foot sprain and being in health and safety protocols, respectively. It was clear the Boston wasn’t the same without them, and the C?s enjoyed their returns to help its fight for a spot in the NBA Finals.
“It was great to have the vets back,” head coach Ime Udoka told reporters after the game, per MassLive’s Souichi Terada. “Obviously a calming presence there. Didn’t get off to a best start, obviously a little slow at the start but fought right back into it and after the first five, six minutes we held them down scoring-wise. But it was a good overall effort, bounce back.”
Horford has been a force for the Celtics through their playoff run, and it’s clear he will be a difference-maker throughout the rest of this series.
Horford, Smart and the rest of the C’s welcome the Heat to TD Garden for Game 3 on Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. ET. as they look to take their first lead in the ECF.