NBA Playoffs: The Boston Celtics beat the Miami Heat to keep their playoff chances alive.
Jayson Tatum scored 33 points as the Boston Celtics defeated the Miami Heat in the NBA playoffs.
The Celtics won 116-99 thanks to 17 points from Jaylen Brown and 16 points from Derrick White. A loss would have meant elimination.
In the best-of-seven series, the second seeds trail 3-1 heading into game five on Thursday (01:30 BST Friday).
“Now we just have to go win another one, that’s all that matters,” Celtics guard Marcus Smart said.
In NBA playoff history, no team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a series.
“We’re taking things one game at a time,” Smart said. “We understand that the odds are stacked against us, but we’re a team that believes in each other no matter what, and all that matters is the next game.”
Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla, who criticized himself for the team’s poor performance in game three’s 128-102 loss, continued, “We have to keep that same level of intensity, mindset, and focus for the next game.”
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In response, Jimmy Butler scored 29 points for the Miami Heat, who are attempting to become only the second eighth-seeded club to go to the NBA Finals, following the New York Knicks in 1999.
“We have to play like our backs are against the wall,” Butler explained. “All year long, we’ve been better when we have to do things the hard way.”
“It’s definitely disappointing,” said Caleb Martin, who scored 16 points off the bench for the Heat. That would have been a great way to end it. Everyone understands that we don’t usually do things the easy way.”