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The Miami Heat used a 22-2 third-quarter run to propel them to a Game 1 victory in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night 118-107.
Jimmy Butler was the reason why Miami was able to pull away in the second half.
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He finished with 41 points on 12-of-19 shooting. He added nine rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks. He also attempted 18 foul shots and made 17 of them. He had 27 of his 41 points in the second half.
“Keep the game easy, simple. We gotta learn to capitalize off their mistakes and we gotta get back,” Butler told ESPN’s Lisa Salters when asked what was said in the locker room at halftime. “I think that’s what changed in the second half.
Butler added that nothing really changed for him in the second half in terms of shooting the ball. He credited the “team effort” that allowed Miami to push ahead.
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Part of the team effort was the performances from guards Tyler Herro and Gabe Vincent.
Herro, who came off the bench, scored 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting. He added eight rebounds and three assists. Vincent hit a few key three-pointers and finished with 17 points, three assists and three blocks.
Miami center Bam Adebayo battled down low against Celtics center Robert Williams and forward Grant Williams. He finished with 10 points, four rebounds and four blocks.
Boston got a valiant effort from Jayson Tatum.
The star shooting guard had 29 points, eight rebounds, six assists and four steals. He was 10-of-2 from the floor but only 2-of-9 from beyond the arc.
Jaylen Brown added 12 points and 10 rebounds. Payton Pritchard had 18 points off the bench. He was 4-for-11 from downtown.
These two teams squared off in the Eastern Conference Finals in the coronavirus pandemic-impacted bubble playoffs in Orlando in 2020. Miami won Game 1 in that series and later closed out Boston to advance to the NBA Finals.
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Game 2 is set for Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. ET in Miami.