Heat embarrass Celtics in Game 3, take 3-0 series lead
Underdogs throughout the playoffs, the Miami Heat played like favorites in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals Sunday, embarrassing the Boston Celtics 128-102 behind a historic performance from guard Gabe Vincent.
The spotlight has shined most on Jimmy Butler during the series, but Game 3 was all about Vincent, who scored a game-high 29 points, the most by an undrafted player in conference finals history, per TSN’s Keerthika Uthayakumar.
Vincent took the reigns in Miami, shooting 11-of-14 from the field and 6-of-9 from beyond the arc in the Heat blowout.
After the win, Vincent credited his teammates and the Miami crowd for the Heat’s dominant performance.
“We defended, we made shots, we forced them into turnovers, and it’s just great to be home,” Vincent said via Giselle Espinales. “I think we rode the momentum of our crowd as well.”
Meanwhile, on a night where Butler had only 16 points on a pedestrian 5-of-13 shooting, Vincent’s fellow undrafted teammates, Duncan Robinson and Caleb Martin, picked up the slack off the bench. Robinson finished behind Vincent, scoring 22 points, while Martin had 18 for the Heat. The pair shot 64 percent from the field and combined for nine three-pointers.
Conversely, the Celtics came out with perhaps their most lackluster effort of the season in a must-win Game 3. Jayson Tatum (14) and Jaylen Brown (12) combined for 26 points while being held to under 15 points each for only the second time this year.
Brown seemed to be at a loss for words following the Celtics’ dismal outing.
“We can point fingers, but in reality, it’s just embarrassing,” Brown said via NBA TV.
Boston now has to climb a hill no other team has, coming back from a 3-0 deficit in the postseason. On the other hand, the eighth-seeded Heat are only one win away from reaching the NBA Finals.
The Heat will look to wrap up the East Conference Finals when they host the Celtics for Game 4 Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. ET.