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Heat Stun Celtics in Boston Again

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Jimmy Butler and Caleb Martin | Photo Credit: www.twitter.com/MiamiHEAT

Jimmy Butler would score 27 points, knocking down a pair of shots to give the Heat the lead after they eliminated a 12 point fourth-quarter deficit and Miami would take down Boston, 111-105, on Friday night to take a 2-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

Bam Adebayo would have a near triple-double with 22 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists, while Caleb Martin would come off the bench and add an electrifying 25 points for the eighth-seed Heat. It was Miami’s first Game 2 victory of this year’s playoffs, and they have now earned the opportunity to inch closer to a series sweep starting with Game 3 on Sunday in Miami.

Jayson Tatum had 34 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists for Boston. Although, the Celtics star would not hit a single basket in the fourth quarter for the second consecutive game, he went 0-for-3 with two turnovers in the final period. Jaylen Brown would have a tough night for Boston, when he scored only 16 points on 7-for-23 shooting, in addition to shooting 1-for-5 with a turnover of his own in the final quarter, which Miami outscored Boston 36-22.

The Celtics had a 12 point lead early in the third quarter but the turning point of Game 2 was when Bostons’ Grant Williams made the worst decision. It was a 96-87 Celtics lead when Jimmy Butler scored, then went forehead-to-forehead with a trash talking Grant Williams, before hitting the free throw on a technical foul call to complete a three-point play.

“That’s just competition at its finest. He hit a big shot, started talking to me. I like that, I’m all for that. It makes me key in a lot more, it pushes that will that I have to win a lot more and it makes me smile. … I just don’t know if I’m the best person to talk to [referring to Grant Williams],” said Jimmy Butler.

From that point on, Miami went on a 24-9 run to end the game and Boston would never recover. It’s the old saying of “don’t poke the bear” and Jimmy Butler was certainly that bear on Friday night. Butler was all smiles the rest of the way en route to a victory, and sneering at the fact that Williams thought he could throw the Miami Heat superstar off his game.

Butler lives for the big moment and now the Heat have taken the home court advantage away from the Celtics, while they hold a commanding 2-0 series lead and head back home to South Beach on Sunday for Game 3.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra would shrug and smile when he was asked about the altercation between Butler and Williams.

“Look, I love that gnarly version of Jimmy, but you get that regardless,” Spoelstra said. “I just think people now are paying a lot more attention to him now that we’ve won some games in the postseason the last few years. Jimmy is just a real competitor.”

Aside from the trash talking head-butt clash with Williams, what Butler and Spoelstra agree on is their identity that has defined the eight-seed Heat’s run through the postseason – no matter what obstacle may be put in front of them, the organization feels like it will find a way to win every time on the court.

“We see it every day in practice,” Butler said. “On off-days, guys are constantly working on their game. Guys are constantly studying film. Guys just want to win. At the end of the day, that’s all anybody wants on this roster. If you ask them to do something, as long as it’s for winning, they are going to do it. Nobody on this roster is dumb. So they can tell whenever it’s about winning and whenever you’re telling them something, because the end goal is winning.”

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