This Tuesday against the Celtics the Heat could not count on their star Jimmy Butler, who had an ankle discomfort, but their other star Bam Adebayo was there to throw the team on his shoulder when it was most needed.
Adebayo contributed 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Miami team to hit the NBA table with a great 112-106 victory over the Boston quintet occupying third place in the East.
But the center was not alone, Duncan Robinson and Goran Dragic accompanied him in the feat with 21 points each. The first with his triples at the good time and the second fighting with everyone and managing the game at will.
The attitude of the Capital of the Sun quintet from the initial jump to the end was the key to everything, making it look not like a simple season game but a conference final. As a sample of the Heat’s focus, suffice it to say they only had 13 turnovers.
Although he lost by three the rebounding battle. Miami was more successful in the field goals (44.2%) and especially in the triples (34.9), with the Robinson contest, solving the problem they presented against the Raptors.
Kelly Olynyk, who entered the starting lineup for Butler, had a very complete game, finishing with 15 points, six rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block.
While Tyler Herro with 11 points completed the outstanding group on offense against the third best defense in the league; in addition to that in defense all the Miami players stood out. Leaving Boston at 106 points is not an easy task.
For the Celtics, Jayson Tatum with 23 points, Jayle Brown with 18 and 10 rebounds, Gordon Hayward with 15, Daniel Theis with 11 and Enes Kanter with 10 stood out.
Miami completely dominated the first half and the 63-51 score was proof of this with 11 points for Adebayo and Herro respectively, but mostly because of the good team game, mainly in defense, thus beating a tough rival like the Celtics.
The first quarter ended in favor of the Heat 33-28 and the difference was not greater thanks to the Celtics making several free throws in the final stretch of the quarter, after trailing by 10 points. Crowder, Robinson and Herro had five 3-pointers on 13 attempts, helping Miami have 54.2 percent on offense.
In the second, the quintet of the Capital of the Sun widened the difference to 12, Boston leaning on a great Tatum reduced it to six, but after a fierce exchange of baskets the Heat widened the gap again to go to rest with those 12 points advantage.
Boston was better in the second, but Miami held up well.
In the third, the Heat increased the lead, but the Celtics with a 15-1 run were within a single point (69-68). Miami reacted with Adebayo and returned the coin (15-3) to return to 12 the difference, which were reduced to eight with a spectacular basket from Walker on the horn to win the quarter 32-28, although it could not prevent the Heat from stay up 91-83.
The story repeated itself over and over in the last quarter. Miami extended the advantage and Boston reduced it and so on until the end, in which Dragic had to leave the game with a twisted ankle.
On Thursday the Heat go against the Bucks in another game of high expectations.