Celtics restrict Heat starters to fewest factors in playoff sport since NBA-ABA merger

Celtics maintain Heat starters to traditionally low whole in Game 4 blowout initially appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The pendulum has swung again within the favor of the Boston Celtics within the Eastern Conference Finals, who evened the sequence at two video games apiece following an traditionally dominant displaying in opposition to the beginning 5 of the Miami Heat in Game 4.

Or was it an traditionally poor efficiency from the Heat?

In both case, Miami’s beginning 5 was held to a measly 18 factors in Monday’s 102-82 loss at TD Garden, with two gamers (P.J. Tucker, Max Strus) failing to attain in any respect.

Celtics-Heat takeaways: Tatum, C’s protection ship in Game 4 rout

Since the NBA merged with the ABA previous to the 1976-77 season, that is the fewest factors a beginning 5 has mixed for in a playoff sport.

Jimmy Butler, who dominated the Celtics in Game 1 with 41 factors, had solely six in Game 4 on 3 of 14 taking pictures over 27 minutes.

Bam Adebayo, who starred in Game 3 with 31 factors — to not point out 10 rebounds, six assists and 4 steals — mustered solely 9 factors, curiously taking solely 5 photographs. The return of Robert Williams III might have had an affect there.

In his second sport again from a hamstring damage, Kyle Lowry made only one shot from the sphere, a 3-point area aim for his solely factors of the evening in 21 minutes.

While it was an evening to neglect for Miami’s starters, a number of gamers off its bench performed properly. Victor Oladipo, in truth, made some historical past of his personal.

The solely participant drafted forward of Milwaukee Bucks famous person Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2013 to to this point play in an All-Star Game, Oladipo’s 23 factors had been greater than all 5 Heat starters mixed — the primary time a bench participant has outscored your entire beginning group for a staff in a playoff sport since starters had been first tracked greater than 50 years in the past. Oladipo was the one Miami participant to play half-hour within the sport.

Duncan Robinson, who performed one season for the Williams College Ephs earlier than transferring to Michigan, had his highest scoring sport for the Heat since their postseason opener in opposition to the Atlanta Hawks, accumulating 14 factors on 5 of 11 taking pictures — 4 for 8 from 3-point vary — in 23 minutes off the bench.

But the Heat had been horrendous from the outset of Game 4, unable to ever make issues even remotely fascinating just like the Celtics did after comparable struggles in Game 3.

What does all of it imply for Game 5 on South Beach on Wednesday? The Celtics, whose starters managed 73 of the staff’s 102 factors, did so with out Marcus Smart within the lineup. Miami was lacking a key function participant of its personal in sixth man Tyler Herro, nonetheless.

Do the Heat inject Herro into the beginning lineup if he can return to motion in 48 hours? Over 66 video games within the common season, Herro averaged a career-high 20.7 factors per sport, however began solely 10 video games.

What’s clear is that if Miami does not get quite a bit extra from its starters in Game 5, this sequence could also be nearer to a conclusion than it seems.

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