The Boston Celtics entered the night as odds on favorites to put to rest the supposed wounded horse that was the Miami Heat. The C’s were coming off back-to-back wins and seemingly possessed all the momentum in the world heading into a potential series-clinching Game 6.
The injury report was entirely identical to Game 5, with Tyler Herro missing a third straight game with a nagging groin injury. On the other side of the rope, Boston was a full bill of health in terms of their rotational guys.
A rare feat in an otherwise troubling playoff run on the injury front.
Miami came out with the first haymaker early, building the lead up to double digits in the opening quarter. The C’s would chip away and trim the deficit to seven points behind assertion from the Jays.
Jimmy Butler set TD Garden ablaze in the first half, dropping 21 points to lead all scorers–a scoring output that eclipsed his production from just a measly 19 points over the last two games.
To put it simply, he was the best player on the floor.
The halftime deficit was two after Boston blew a small four-point lead to end the quarter. Beantown won the second quarter 24-19 by shifting their energies and playing doghouse-style defense.
The Boston Celtics lost a pivotal third quarter by coming out flat with the mishandling of possessions and being out of position defensively, leading to tough foul calls.
Miami felt like the more physical team and the C’s could not match them.
The fourth quarter saw momentary glimpses of light at the end of the tunnel with the stellar play of Derrick White who was everywhere on both ends.
A lead turned into a deficit after two crucial missed free throws from Jaylen Brown, as the miss led to an easy transition and-one from Jimmy Butler en route to his 47 points.
The ship sank into its sails after that rollercoaster of back-to-back possessions, and the Miami Heat stole Game 6 in the closing minutes because, simply put, they just wanted it more.
Let’s get into 3 takeaways from Boston’s deja vu of a loss: