Man, the Game 3 battle between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat was entertaining, especially considering that the Heat had up to a 26-point lead before watching that get cut down to one point with 2:40 left on the clock.
The Heat, who led for the entire game, had some excellent numbers defensively. They had a 19-2 advantage in steals while only turning the ball over nine times. They took full advantage of the Celtics’ miscues as well, turning 24 Boston turnovers into 33 points. The Celtics, who shot more than double the free throws than the Heat (30 vs 14 attempts), will lament how badly they took care of the ball.
Bam Adebayo finally even got himself out of his funk, and put on an All-Star performance with 31 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, four steals and a block with just a single turnover. He shot 15 of 22 from the field.
The Heat needed every single one of those points from Adebayo, since Jaylen Brown also had a huge game for the Celtics with 40 points and nine rebounds on a 14 of 20 shooting performance. Brown set a new record as well.
What really sucks, though, is that this highly entertaining series may be decided by injuries. Jimmy Butler was the first one to stop playing, as he sat for the entire second half due to apparent knee inflammation.
Marcus Smart then had a scare of his own after rolling his ankle. While he did come back later in the game, and made an impact, things may take a turn for the worse once all of that adrenaline wears off. He showed a lot of character to return, but I’m genuinely hoping that it didn’t add even more wear and tear to his foot.
Jayson Tatum also had an injury scare of his own in the fourth quarter, which made what was a bad night even worse for Boston’s star forward. Tatum shot 3 of 14 on the way to 10 points, six rebounds, four assists, and six turnovers.
It’s clear that both the Heat and the Celtics are locked in for this series, but the unfortunate truth is that this series may simply be decided by who stays healthier. That would be a shame, because this is a pretty good matchup.