Tatum leads Celtics past Heat, trail East finals 3-1
Jayson Tatum had 34 points and 11 rebounds, Derrick White and Jaylen Brown each added 16 points and Boston staved off elimination in the Eastern Conference finals by running away in the second half to beat Miami 116-99 in Game 4.
In front of PGA champion Brooks Koepka, Grant Williams scored 14, Al Horford added 12 and Marcus Smart 11 on Tuesday night for the Celtics, who still trail the series 3-1 — but sent it back to Boston for a Game 5 on Thursday.
Jimmy Butler scored 29 for the Heat, who led by nine in the second half before getting outscored 48-22 in a 14-minute stretch that turned the game — and perhaps the series — completely around. Boston would also have Game 7 on their floor as well if they can keep extending this series.
The Heat shot 8 for 32 on three-pointers, while Boston were 19 for 45.
No team in NBA history have ever successfully rallied from a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series; 150 have tried, 150 have failed.
But the Celtics gave themselves hope.
"We were just trying to save our season," Tatum said.
Miami led by as many as nine points in the opening quarter, kept the lead for the majority of the first half and were up by nine again when Max Strus connected on a triple early in the third.
Boston's season was officially on the brink.
And the Celtics responded — most emphatically.
An 18-0 run took them from down nine to up nine, a huge turnaround that took only three minutes. Tatum had nine of those points and just like that the defending East champions — who won three playoff games on Miami's home floor in last year's playoffs — were rolling again.
The Heat got within four late in the third quarter, only to see another lightning-fast spurt by the Celtics — this time, seven unanswered points in 40 seconds.
Boston's edge was 88-79 going into the fourth, after winning the third 38-23, with 21 of those points coming on three-pointers.
The Celtics kept the lead the rest of the way.