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Saturday, November 26, 2022

NBA: Heat and Celtics go to the “series to win two of three”

MIAMI ( Associated Press) — One and one; one and one.

The Miami Heat want that trend to continue; the Boston Celtics hope to break it and the team that wins on Wednesday night will be one win away from reaching the NBA Finals.

The Eastern Conference finals have been a series of mood swings and everything is set for them to resume on Wednesday in Game 5 in Miami.

The first-seeded Heat and second-seeded Celtics have two wins each. The Heat came from behind in the second half and took the first game; Boston took advantage of a great offense in the first half and won the second game by blowout; Miami responded and took the third, and the Celtics scored the fourth.

“There is no surprise,” Boston coach Ime Udoka said Tuesday. “Two teams that always fight, they don’t defeat each other, they give each other a chance. I’ve known Miami for a long time and (Heat coach Erik Spoelstra), tenacity is their quintessence. Both teams have matched that energy after losses and now it’s our turn to react better to a win.”

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The Celtics, even without defensive player of the year Marcus Amart, who was sidelined again, this time due to a sprained ankle, were convincing in Game 4, taking an early 18-1 lead without ever losing the game. party dominance.

Miami’s five starters had a combined 18 points in Game 4, yes, collectively, the lowest total in a playoff game in at least 40 years.

The Heat played without Tyler Herro because of a groin problem, Jimmy Butler didn’t look good (although he insisted he was) and sat out half of Game 3 because of a sore knee, while Kyle Lowry, Max Strus and PJ Tucker combined made 1 of 17 shots.

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It was terrible, but Spoelstra still somehow sees the beauty in the development of the series.

The advantage has not changed hands since the first period of the second game. Boston took control and didn’t let go, Miami took a big lead in Game 3 and never let go, and the Celtics dominated Game 4 from the opening seconds.

“What we’re seeing is a great series,” Spoelstra said. “We have to accept it and unite, and hopefully this competition brings out the best in all of us.”

Game 5s in a tied series always go either way. When the series to win 4 of seven meetings goes 2-2, the winner of the fifth game has prevailed in the end in 82% of the times.

“It feels like a new series,” said Jayson Tatum of Boston. “To win two out of three.”

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