By Miguel Mike Medina
Miami Heat stole the home court from the Boston Celtics with a 123-116 victory in Game 1. It was a collective team effort by the Heat. Boston’s Achilles heel was their turnovers and lack of urgency. This is the second consecutive series when Boston loses Game 1 on their home court.
Kyle Lowry kept Miami in the game in the first half. He had 15 points off the bench. Boston had a big second quarter. They went on a 15-2 run, and their offense clicked. Celtics led by nine by halftime. In the third quarter, everything changed. Miami played an outstanding third quarter. They outscored Boston 46-25, which marked the highest playoff scoring quarter in Miami Heat history.
In the fourth quarter, it was the Jimmy Butler show. He’s a superstar for a reason. A superstar takes over the game, whether he is scoring or facilitating, or playing defense. Jimmy did all three of those. He is an unbelievable player. My favorite moment of Jimmy Butler is when he hit that dagger three-pointer to make it 120-110. After he hit that shot, he looked at his bench and winked at them. Butler finishes the game with 35 points, seven assists, five rebounds, and a player career-high six steals. Bam Adebayo added 20 points with eight rebounds. Strus, Vincent, and Martin had 15 points each.
Miami shot the ball well as a team. They shot 54% from the field, 16-of-31 from the three-point line.
Game 2 will be on Friday night, as Miami is trying to return to South Beach with a 2-0 lead.
By Miguel Mike Medina
Miami Heat and New York Knicks faced each other in the playoffs for the first time since 2012. During that time, Carmelo Anthony was with the Knicks, while the Heat had the Big Three with Lebron, Wade, and Bosh. The best playoff moments between the Knicks and Heat were from the 90s during the Patrick Ewing/Alonzo Mourning era.
This year’s matchup seems more intriguing because both teams are equally good, and it could go either way. Both teams can play offense and defend well. On Sunday afternoon, Round One goes to Miami. The Miami Heat stole the home court and won 108-101.
The Knicks played great with urgency in the first half. They led as many as 11. Miami rallied in the game late in the second quarter, but momentum shifted in the third quarter. The Knicks were missing a lot of shots from downtown. Miami outscored the Knicks 31-20 in the third quarter. The best game assist came in that quarter when Kevin Love threw a quarterback-to-wide receiver touchdown pass to Jimmy Butler.
Jimmy Butler led the Heat with 25 points, 11 rebounds, and two steals on an 8 of 16 shooting in 43 minutes. Point guard Gabe Vince had a sensational game with 20 points and five assists in 33 minutes. Kyle Lowry added 18 points from the bench.
RJ Barrett led the Knicks with 26 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. Jalen Brunson had 25 points but went cold from downtown (0 for 7). Barrett and Brunson combined for nine turnovers in Game 1. They need to clean that up for Game 2. Obi Toppin added 18 points and eight rebounds. The Knicks didn’t get much production from their bench. Sixth Man of the Year finalist Immanuel Quickley only had 9 points on 3 of 9 shooting.
The Knicks will try to even the series on Tuesday night.