Miami only needs to win one more game to advance to the NBA Finals.
Behind 37 points from Tyler Herro, the Heat defeated the Boston Celtics 112-109 on Wednesday night. The win puts Miami at a 3-1 series lead, and 11-2 in postseason play.
Herro, at 20 years old, is the second-youngest player in NBA history to score 35 points in a playoff game. He also broke a Miami Heat record for most points scored in a playoff game by a rookie.
Herro, who played 36 minutes off of the bench, hit five three-point shots and led the Heat in scoring. Miami’s Bam Adebayo scored 20 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and led the team in assists with four. The team’s veteran leader, Jimmy Butler, scored 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
For Boston, Jayson Tatum led the team in scoring with 28 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Marcus Smart had a double-double, with 10 points and 11 assists. Both Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown eclipsed at least 20 points for the Celtics in the loss. Boston as a whole committed 19 turnovers, more than double Miami’s eight turnovers.
Turnovers would be what kept Boston from holding on to a lead. The Celtics’ largest lead was two points, while Miami held leads throughout the game. The Heat’s largest lead was 12 points.
Miami elected to play a shorter rotation of players, with only an eight-man rotation. Boston, on the other hand, elected to go with a ten-man rotation. While the Celtics played more players, their starters also played more minutes than Miami’s.
Unfortunately for the Celtics, the Heat’s scoring surge did not come from a starter. Herro exploded with 17 fourth-quarter points to lift the Heat into a 3-1 lead in the series.
Brad Stevens on Tyler Herro: “The rim must have looked like the ocean to him.”
— Trevor Hass (@TrevorHass) September 24, 2020
Despite the onslaught of points from Herro, he was statistically a net negative for his team. His plus/minus rating, which measures a player’s impact on the game, was -4. Still, Herro’s 37 points combined with Butler, Dragic and Adebayo’s combined 66 points were more than enough to put the Celtics away.
The Heat will play game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Boston on Friday, Sept. 25 at 8:20 p.m. If Miami wins, they will advance to the team’s first NBA Finals appearance since LeBron James was on the team in 2014.