(CTN News) – A lot has changed since the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics fought seven games in the Derrick White playoffs last year.
The rivalry has not lessened in intensity.
As a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference finals, the Celtics rallied to beat the Heat 119-111 on Friday night behind 28 points from Derrick White, including five three-pointers.
A 27-point, six-rebound performance from Jaylen Brown rounded out the scoring. Tatum finished with 22 points in the latest meeting between the East rivals, who have met in the conference finals three times in the past four years.
White scored 14 fourth-quarter points for a team that has ridden Tatum and Brown’s exploits in recent playoff runs.
As a two-year veteran, Derrick White knows where all the guys should be positioned. I lead from there.
Tatum told reporters, “I’ve always been talented.”. He’s now showing more emotion. Be aggressive instead of just looking for me.”
Celtics improved to 2-0 with a new-look roster that has shown poise late in games that it lacked last year.
The four meetings between Boston and Miami last season were split. After a seven-game slugfest, Miami advanced to its seventh NBA Finals by erasing a 3-0 series lead Derrick White before beating the Celtics in Game 7 in Boston.
In some ways, Friday’s game felt like a continuation of that series, the first of their three this season.
As both teams hovered near 50% shooting from the field, neither team led by more than five points at the end of any of the first three periods. In the game, six ties were recorded and six leads were changed.
Miami’s Tyler Herro scored 28 points and made five of Miami’s 16 3-pointers while he sat out the conference finals.
Herro said he enjoyed our fight. There’s no moral victory here, but I think Game 2 has a lot to teach.”
Bam Adebayo contributed 27 points and seven rebounds. Despite shooting 3-of-11 from the field, Jimmy Butler finished with 14 points.
“It has been four years since the (Florida) bubble burst and we’ve had this issue with them. Having faced them so many times has been a privilege. However, both teams have changed. That’s just the way this league is. According to Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra, “That’s just the way life goes.”. “I like playing against teams I know well and have had battles with.”. “I think they did a better job tonight.”..”
In the fourth quarter, Miami led 88-87 before Boston surged ahead 96-90 thanks to Derrick White eight consecutive points.
Just over four minutes into the game, Boston led 109-102 before Adebayo blocked Brown’s shot from behind. After Butler collected the loose ball, he sprinted ahead and attempted a dunk when Derrick White chased him down and blocked it.
“His plays tonight were sick. “Those were just sick plays,” Celtics Coach Joe Mazzulla said. “That’s the only way to describe it.”
White turned the ball over, and Butler drew Kristaps Porzingis’ sixth foul on a putback attempt. To cut the Celtics’ lead to 109-104, Butler hit two free throws.
On a layup by Brown and a free throw by Tatum, Boston got within 112-104.
A 59-second 3-pointer by Kevin Love capped another Heat flurry to cut the lead to 114-111.
Both free throws were made by Derrick White after he was fouled. Herro missed another 3-point attempt. When Brown made a 3 from the wing, the Celtics sealed the victory.
Mazzulla said, “Tonight, we were intentional.”. We chose the right matchups. Our positions were assigned. In the fourth quarter, we still didn’t play well. It was a good start for Game 2 of what we’re trying to accomplish.”