Tatum scores 29 points as the Celtics defeat Heat

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Boston Celtics defeated Miami Heat in the rematch of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Celtics Jayson Tatum scored 29 points, and Jaylen Brown added 28 as the Boston Celtics defeated Miami Heat 111-104 in a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference finals.

The Celtics – whose most recent trip to Miami was a Game 7 win in that playoff series – outscored Miami 42-24 from 3-point range, and improved to 2-0 under interim coach Joe Mazzulla.

Tyler Herro scored 25 points for Miami, with 19 from Bam Adebayo, 18 from Jimmy Butler, and 17 from Kyle Lowry.

Miami cut a 14-point deficit to five late, before back-to-back paint baskets by Tatum and the Celtics would hold on.

“We’ve got a great team and we’re still trying to figure each other out,” Tatum said. “And I love playing against the Heat. We’ve got some history here the last couple of years, and they push you. They make you a better team. They’ve got a lot of fire, great players, a great coach.”

It’s Miami’s first 0-2 start since 2007-08 – meaning it’s the first in Erik Spoelstra’s 15-year run as Heat coach. Miami had been one of only two teams without an 0-2 start in the last 15 seasons; now, Portland is the only team on that list.

Boston led by as many as 11 in the first half, took a 59-51 lead into the break and stretched the lead to 12 when Brown made back-to-back baskets to open the third quarter.

That’s around the time Miami put together perhaps its best stretch of the night. A 20-6 run by the Heat, with Herro and Lowry each scoring six points, gave Miami a 71-69 edge – its first lead since midway through the first quarter.

But the game changed when Adebayo got his fourth foul. He came out, and Boston took off. Miami was plus-20 with Adebayo on the floor, and minus-27 in the 13 minutes when he wasn’t on the court.

The Celtics matched Miami’s 20-6 run with a 20-6 burst of their own, Tatum scoring eight of those points, Grant Williams ending it with a pair of 3’s and it was 89-77 going into the fourth.



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