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5:30 PM PT6:30 PM MT7:30 PM CT8:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)01:3020:30 ET6:30 PM CT23:30 , May 25, 2022
FTX Arena, Miami, Florida  Attendance: 19,819

Heat, Celtics brace for 'new series' starting with Game 5

According to STATS
According to STATS

Boston Celtics at Miami Heat

  1. Boston tied the series at two with a 102-82 win against the Heat in Game 4. Miami has won six of its last seven playoff series when the series is tied at 2-2, while the Celtics have won five of its past six such playoff series.
  2. The Celtics grabbed 60 rebounds in Game 4, its most in a playoff game since pulling down 60 against the Nets in the 2002 playoffs. Over the last 10 seasons, NBA teams are 15-4 (.789) when having 60+ rebounds in a playoff game.
  3. Al Horford, who will turn 36 on June 3, has two games in this year's playoffs with 10+ rebounds and at least four blocks. Horford joins Kevin Garnett, David Robinson and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players 35 or older over the last 30 seasons to have multiple such games in a single postseason.
  4. The Heat scored 11 points in the first quarter of Game 4, which was their lowest scoring first quarter in team history for a playoff game. Three of the last five times Miami has been held to under 12 points in any quarter of a playoff game, it has been against Boston.
  5. Despite not starting in Game 4, Victor Oladipo led the Heat in scoring with 23 points and also had four threes and six assists. Oladipo is the second player in team playoff history to record 20+ points, 6+ assists and 4+ threes as a non-starter, joining Tyler Herro.
  6. After the Game 4 win, the Celtics have now won four games in this year's playoffs by 20+ points. That ties them with the 1958-59 and 2007-08 Celtic teams for most 20-point wins in a single postseason in franchise history (Boston won the NBA championship in both of those seasons).
(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

It will be the Miami Heat's chance to turn the tables in the Eastern Conference finals when they play host to the Boston Celtics in Game 5 on Wednesday.

While the series is tied 2-2, it has been anything but a close matchup on a day-by-day basis. Three of the four games have been decided by a double-digit winning margin, including Game 4 on Monday at Boston when the Celtics rode their defense to a 102-82 victory.

The Celtics' domination came just two days after dropping a 109-103 decision in Game 3, and at home, no less. When Boston fell in the series opener last week at Miami, it was by a 118-107 score.

Both teams were without key players Monday, but the Heat were more out of sync without NBA Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro (groin). The Celtics still were able to do some high-level defending without the league's Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart (ankle).

"You know, sometimes when you have two really competitive teams, it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be a one-point game," Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said. "It means that it can be flammable either way. Both teams are ignitable. Whatever they have done to us, we can do to them."

If the Heat get burned for a consecutive game, it will leave the Celtics one game from advancing to the NBA Finals with the series shifting to Boston on Friday.

"I think obviously it's 2-2, so it's kind of like a new series, best of three," said the Celtics' Jayson Tatum, who scored a game-high 31 points in Game 4. "I think just having a conversation that I think human nature plays a part in, when you win a game you can relax a little bit. But obviously when we lose a game, we feel like the next game is do or die.

"I think we have to have that mindset going into Game 5, that it is a must-win game, because (Monday) was essentially something like that."

Tatum has averaged 24.3 points in the series along with 6.8 rebounds and 5.0 assists. In 15 games during the playoffs, he has put up 27.2 points with 5.9 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game.

But just as Tatum had an off night in Game 3 with 10 points on 3-for-14 shooting, leading to a Celtics defeat, Heat star Jimmy Butler was held to six points in the Game 4 defeat, also on 3-of-14 shooting. Butler scored 41 points in Miami's series-opening victory, but had just 14 points combined over the two games at Boston on 6-of-22 shooting.

In seven home games during these playoffs, Butler has scored fewer than 21 points just once. It will be Butler's turn to shine, especially if Herro is unavailable again.

"I don't think we need to worry about individuals," Butler said after Miami's starters combined for 18 points in Game 4. "I think we need to figure out how to win as a team. That's the most important thing, how to get stops as a team, how to score as a team and continue to do everything as a team."

Herro, Kyle Lowry (hamstring), Max Strus (hamstring), Gabe Vincent (hamstring) and P.J. Tucker (knee) are all listed by the Heat as questionable for Wednesday. Smart and Robert Williams III (left knee soreness) are questionable for the Celtics.

--Field Level Media

Updated May 25, 2022

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