NBA: Miami Heat seize 2-0 Eastern final lead over Boston Celtics with second-half surge

NBA: Miami Heat seize 2-0 Eastern final lead over Boston Celtics with second-half surge

(REUTERS) – Goran Dragic scored a game-high 25 points, Bam Adebayo had 15 of his 21 during a furious third-quarter comeback and the Miami Heat rallied from 17 points down early to beat the Boston Celtics 106-101 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals on Thursday (Sept 17) night near Orlando.

Adebayo, the hero of Game 1 with his critical block in overtime, also added 10 rebounds as the Heat improved to 2-0 in the best-of-seven series and 10-1 in the playoffs.

Six Miami players scored in double figures, Duncan Robinson adding 18 and Jimmy Butler 14.

Kemba Walker emerged from a slump with 23 points to lead the Celtics, and Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown scored 21 apiece.

Game 3 will take place Saturday night.

The Heat outscored the Celtics 37-17 in the third quarter to take an 84-77 lead into the final period. Boston roared back with a 10-2 run in the middle of the fourth, knotting the score at 89 on a Brown basket with 5:37 remaining.

The Celtics maintained momentum and led by five, 94-89, on a three-pointer by Walker with 4:25 to go. But the Heat countered with a 13-1 run to seize control, Jae Crowder’s layup with 1:26 on the clock giving Miami a 102-95 edge.

Brown got Boston within three, 104-101, on a 3-pointer with 49.4 seconds remaining, but he couldn’t knot the score from deep with 15.1 ticks to go as Miami held on.

Down by 13 to begin the third, the Heat rode a 15-2 spurt to a 72-71 lead with 4:17 to go. Adebayo had 11 points during the run, giving Miami its first lead since 1:13 of the opening quarter. The Heat ended the period on a 10-1 stretch to up their lead to seven through three.

The Celtics led 31-28 after a tightly contested first quarter. Boston blew the game open in the second, grabbing its first double-digit advantage, 43-33, on back-to-back three-pointers by Brad Wanamaker with 8:37 left.

The margin reached 17 with 3:19 to go, but Miami cut its deficit to 60-47 at the break.