The Miami Heat defeated the Boston Celtics 103-84 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday night, largely thanks to the efforts of Jimmy Butler, who scored 28 points, and Caleb Martin, who had 26 points and ten rebounds. However, Boston’s attempt at an extraordinary comeback was ultimately unsuccessful.
After losing a 3-0 series lead, the Heat were able to come back and win the game, advancing them to the NBA Finals for the second time in the last four seasons. They will play against the Nuggets, who won the Western Conference, and the first game will take place in Denver on Thursday night.
The Miami Heat are the first team with a No. 8 seed to play for a title since the New York Knicks in 1999. Bam Adebayo led the Heat in scoring with 12 points while also grabbing ten rebounds. Denver has been waiting since sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers on May 22, when they were the lower-seeded team.
The Most Valuable Player award for the Eastern Conference finals was given to Butler. This award is named after Larry Bird, who is in the Celtics Hall of Fame.
Hero of Game 6 Boston’s Derrick White scored 18 points as the squad attempted to make history by becoming the first NBA team to ever advance after falling behind 0-3 in a best-of-seven series. Jaylen Brown had 19 points and eight rebounds but only made one of his nine 3-point attempts.
After twisting his ankle on the game’s opening play and limping through the remaining 42 minutes, Jayson Tatum finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds while playing with a limp. Tatum had previously set a record for the most points scored in a Game 7 with 51 against Philadelphia in the conference semifinals.
After jumping out to an early lead of five points, the Celtics promptly gave up a run of 14-4 to conclude the first quarter and then gave up 16 of the first 22 points scored in the second quarter. Late in the third quarter, Boston narrowed the gap to seven points, but Miami took the advantage into halftime with a score of 76-66 and started the fourth quarter by scoring the first seven points to pull away.
After winning the first three games of the series, including two on the road in Boston, the Heat required only one more victory to advance to the NBA Finals. There has never been a loss in the NBA playoffs for any of the 150 teams that have taken a 3-0 lead in a series they were competing in.
However, to get themselves excited, the Celtics watched a documentary about the Boston Red Sox’s comeback from a 3-0 deficit against the New York Yankees in the 2004 World Series. This was the Red Sox’s comeback on their route to winning the World Series. Former New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter were seated courtside in Miami for the fourth game of the series between the Celtics and the Heat.
After winning Games 4 and 5 by double digits and having a comfortable lead in Game 6, Miami staged a comeback and took the lead by one point with three seconds left to play in the game. Then, in the final tenth of a second, White scored on a putback to force a decisive seventh game. This came after it looked that the Heat had won the game after a last-ditch three-point attempt by Marcus Smart was unsuccessful.
After returning to Boston, the Celtics played a pregame video for their fans in which they intercut clips from their comeback with ones from the Red Sox. The catalyst for the 2004 Red Sox, Kevin Millar, taped a message to get the crowd pumped up.
However, the greatly fancied Celtics could not pull off the feat again.