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Jayson Tatum sparks Celtics to win over Heat, downplays fall

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Jayson Tatum sparks Celtics to win over Heat, downplays fall
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BOSTON — Celtics star Jayson Tatum was a catalyst in additional methods than one in Boston’s convincing 114-94 victory over the Miami Warmth on Sunday afternoon in Recreation 1 of their first-round playoff collection.

He performed sensible, unselfish basketball towards Miami’s double-teams, logging his first profession playoff triple-double with 23 factors, 10 boards and 10 assists. However as the competition entered its ultimate minute, Tatum additionally confirmed toughness, popping up off the ground instantly after getting hit by Warmth wing Caleb Martin whereas going airborne for a rebound. The play initially scared the TD Backyard crowd however galvanized the Celtics, who needed to indicate they would not be pushed round by the extremely bodily Warmth membership.

“It is playoff basketball, and it is a bodily recreation towards a bodily group. S—‘s gonna occur,” Tatum stated, including that he needed to rise up from the autumn rapidly to indicate he wasn’t damage. “It is in all probability not the final time I’ll get hit like that on this collection.”

After the sport, Martin stated he did not deliberately collide with Tatum and that his momentum merely led him into the airborne Tatum. Replays confirmed that Boston’s Jrue Vacation may need pushed Martin from behind within the second earlier than the collision. Martin sought to assist Tatum up afterward, however Boston star Jaylen Brown pushed him away earlier than he might. Martin and Brown have been assessed technical fouls after exchanging phrases.

For as harmful because the play initially seemed, with Tatum showing to come back down on his hip — and practically slamming his head on the hardwood — the Celtics prompt the skirmish may create a rallying impact going ahead.

“I used to be enthusiastic about the entire state of affairs,” Boston coach Joe Mazzulla stated. “I loved watching it.”

Mentioned middle Kristaps Porzingis: “I feel we matched [their physicality]. I do not know if [the Martin collision] was an accident or not. These sorts of performs occur. However a little bit little bit of motion? I feel it is good for the playoffs. It was enjoyable.”

So far as motion was involved, the Celtics introduced much more of it from the outset. Porzingis stated the membership — which lacked significant video games on the finish of the common season after clinching the East’s No. 1 seed with three weeks left to play — spoke earlier within the week about not displaying rust and discovering a approach to throw the primary punch in Recreation 1.

“It was troublesome for us to trick ourselves into sustaining this loopy mindset of successful each single regular-season recreation [after clinching the top seed],” Porzingis stated. “However we knew we had the actual one coming quickly, and I am glad we got here out the best way we did tonight. It units the stage for the remainder of our path.”

The message clearly obtained by, because the Celtics poured it on early by leaping out to a 14-0 lead earlier than Miami scored its first factors.

The Warmth started settling in and clawing again, however the path to doing so was sophisticated by Boston’s choice for 3s when most of Miami’s pictures have been of the 2-point selection.

The floodgates opened within the third when the Celtics, with ball motion and ample flooring spacing, drilled seven 3s and outscored the Warmth by 17 within the quarter. By three quarters of play, Boston had knocked down 19 3s to Miami’s 5 — a 42-point margin from behind the arc. Tatum facilitated a lot of the offense by letting the Warmth’s zone assault stress him with two defenders earlier than rapidly swinging the ball again throughout the ground to a extra open shooter. Porzingis, Derrick White and reserve Sam Hauser every completed with 4 3s, whereas Brown knocked dwelling three of his personal. The Celtics led by as a lot as 34 early within the fourth, and Boston followers started doing the wave inside the world.

The primary-round collection between the groups — their fourth playoff assembly in 5 years — is a rematch of final yr’s Japanese Convention finals, which the Warmth took regardless of being an eight-seed underdog.

The climb this time could be even steeper for Miami. Jimmy Butler, the group’s finest wing participant, injured his proper MCL throughout the play-in spherical and is predicted to overlook a number of weeks. And Terry Rozier, who averaged practically 20 factors per recreation within the common season, is out with a neck harm. Each are monumental blows for a Miami unit that already struggled to attain at instances.

“It is clear Boston managed this recreation from the tip,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra stated. “They gained the large muscle areas. Positively gained the 3-point line. And many of the areas in between. … Now we have to do a significantly better job by Wednesday.”

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