Fate had a special place in store for the Miami Heat. They finished eighth in the regular season with almost as many losses as wins. But after a dream run in the Playoffs, bringing them into the Play-in, they now have the opportunity to fight for the NBA championship. They will face up against the Denver Nuggets in the upcoming NBA Finals.
The Heat prevailed in the seventh and final game of the Eastern Conference Finals by defeating the Boston Celtics 84-103 at TD Garden in Boston. The series concluded with a 4-3 result, and so Florida avoided what would have been an epic comeback by the Celtics, the first in the history of a team down 3-0 in a Playoffs playoff series.
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The Heat demonstrated their dominance from the first moment of the game. They went into halftime with a 41-52 lead and only conceded in one of the game's four quarters.
If one name stands out above the rest of the Heat roster, it is Jimmy Butler. With 28 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists, the forward was once again the lighthouse that lit the way to victory for his teammates. And, in this case, also towards the glory of playing in the NBA Finals. Butler's contribution in these Playoffs has been impressive, and if he wins the Ring, there is no doubt that he will be named Most Valuable Player (MVP).
Butler's expertise was not the only highlight of the seventh game. Caleb Martin dismissed his opponents' efforts with a big double-double (26 points and 10 rebounds plus 3 assists), executing the best performance in the Eastern Conference Finals. Bam Adebayo was dominant in the zone and had a double-double (12 points and 10 rebounds plus 7 assists).
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After dreaming of a historic comeback, the Boston Celtics fell just one step short of executing it. The NBA's most successful franchise -with the exception of the Los Angeles Lakers- was unable to do anything against its rival's efficiency in the game. The highlight was the performance of their star player, Jayson Tatum, who recorded a double-double (14 points and 11 rebounds plus 4 assists). The other Jay, Jaylen Brown, was the leading scorer with 19 points.
The Heat will now face the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals after the Colorado franchise swept the Los Angeles Lakers (4-0) in the Western Conference Finals. This Thursday, the first game will be played at the Denver Ball Arena.