The Celtics saved the season with a Game 4 victory as the Heat’s white shot finally cooled off


I feel like I could name 80 things that are more likely to happen in Game 4 of the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals than a double-digit Celtics win, so in that sense, both in Boston for what they’ve accomplished, cemented their identity in the third. quarter and took control of the game, narrowly avoiding elimination.

Jayson Tatum played a key role in the third quarter 38-23 for the Celtics, scoring 14 points while adding three assists, one steal and one block, playing 12 minutes. He took charge, hitting back-to-back threes at one point while hitting back-to-back bucket-to-assists on two different occasions later on.

Tatum had a different energy about him than he had during the first three games; things are a bit more defining and he looks as much like the best player in the series as the on-paper look on the series you might think. His totals that night totaled 33 points (14-22 FG), 11 rebounds and seven assists; this was Tatum’s sixth 30-10 game of the postseason.

Miami’s white hot shooting eventually cooled off in third, just 36.4 percent from the floor and 25 percent from three. Ball movement has also been a bit stagnant, with the Heat assisting in just three of eight baskets made, compared to the Celtics assisting in eight of 14.

Jimmy Butler was the only one in Miami to shoot heavily in the third, tallying 15 there for 29 (9-21 FG) on the night. He added nine rebounds and five assists to continue his elite run this postseason, but as a team they fell short on this one, gearing up for a Men’s Sweep opportunity.

While Butler maintained his status quo, Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla maintained it, which looked a little different. Butler was intense on the court and relaxed, while Mazzulla appeared to be taking more of a reverse approach. Mazzulla calls game 5 what it is—do or die.

They will do or die Thursday at 5:30 p.m. from TD Garden in Boston. While it still is very likely in a hand for the Heat, one factor that could start to come into play is the amount of rest they have versus what the Nuggets will have, especially if Miami can’t shut them out in five minutes.


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