The Boston Celtics advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in 12 years after defeating the Miami Heat in Game 7.
Jimmy Butler couldn’t save the Miami Heat this time.
The Boston Celtics advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in 12 years after defeating the Heat in Game 7 of Monday’s Eastern Conference Finals AEST.
Miami fans were stunned as the Celtics took an early lead at FTX Arena, leading 32-17 in the quarter.
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Boston managed to reduce the deficit in the second term, with Game 6 hero Butler going crazy again with 24 points in the first half.
There were nervous moments in the fourth quarter when the Heat went on an 11-point run only to trail by just two points with 50 seconds on the clock.
Butler attempted a three-point Hail Mary to take the lead with less than 25 seconds left, but his off-balance shot failed.
But the Celtics kept their composure to claim a 100-96 win and book their place in the NBA Finals.
Butler finished with a team-high 35 points in 48 minutes, while Jason Tatum, who went on to be named Eastern Conference Finals MVP, was Boston’s leading scorer with 26 points and 10 rebounds.
The Celtics will face the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, which opens in San Francisco on Friday AEST.
Heat fined $25,000 for breaking bench decorum rules
Bench players getting up and standing just off the court got the NBA’s Miami Heat fined $25,000.
The Heat organization was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Saturday for violating league rules regarding team bench decorum in a 111-103 playoff win Friday at Boston.
“On several occasions, multiple players stood for an extended period of time in the Miami team bench area, stood off the team bench, and were on, encroaching on, or entering the field of play during the live game,” the league said in a statement.
The actions particularly caught the attention of television commentators when the Heat’s reserves were intimidating near the sideline when a Boston player came in to attempt a 3-point corner.
This is far from the first violation for bench decorum in the NBA playoffs. The Dallas Mavericks have been repeatedly fined for players who weren’t on the bench, resulting in a $100,000 fine last weekend for a third post-season rule violation.
— with AFP
Originally published as Boston Celtics advance to NBA Finals after toppling Miami Heat in Game 7