The Heat will look to continue their winning ways at home and push the Boston Celtics to the brink of elimination on Sunday when their Eastern Conference finals series shifts to Miami.
The eighth-seeded Heat have won all five of their home games in the playoffs thus far. They also have backed the second-seeded Celtics into a corner by winning the first two games of the best-of-seven series in Boston.
Jimmy Butler collected 27 points, eight rebounds and six assists in Miami’s 111-105 victory over Boston on Friday, while Bam Adebayo contributed 22, 17 and nine, respectively.
But they weren’t alone as Caleb Martin and Duncan Robinson added strong performances off the bench on Friday. Martin poured in 25 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the floor, while Robinson added 15 with a 6-for-9 effort.
Jayson Tatum led Boston in points (34), rebounds (13) and assists (eight) on Friday, however he failed to convert a field goal in the fourth quarter for the second straight game.
Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined to make just 4 of 17 attempts from 3-point range.
Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla was succinct when asked about his message to his team after it let a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter go by the boards on Friday.
And Boston also will need to be careful not to ignite a spark under Butler. Grant Williams unintentionally did that by getting in Butler’s face, with the latter later admitting that he was fueled by the heated exchange.
The Celtics will need to respond in Game 3. If they don’t, the Heat will be on the brink of advancing to the NBA Finals for the second time in four seasons.
Game 4 is slated for Tuesday night in Miami.