LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Jimmy Butler thought he won the game for Miami with a 3-pointer late in regulation.
He put the Heat ahead again in overtime – and then Bam Adebayo finished it off with the biggest block of his career.
Butler’s three-point play with 12 seconds left put Miami up for good, Adebayo blocked Jayson Tatum’s dunk attempt in the final seconds and the Heat rallied time and again to beat the Boston Celtics 117-114 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday night.
Kemba Walker’s basket with 23.2 seconds left in overtime put Boston up by one, before Butler muscled his way to the rim for a score while getting fouled by Tatum. The Celtics went to Tatum on the ensuing possession, only to watch him get denied by Adebayo.
And the Heat – down by 13 in the first quarter, down by 14 in the fourth – struck first, ending Boston’s seven-game streak of Game 1 wins.
Tatum scored 30 points for the Celtics, Marcus Smart had 26 points, Walker had 19 and Jaylen Brown added 17. Goran Dragic had 29 points, Jae Crowder scored 22, Jimmy Butler scored 20 and Adebayo had 18 for the Heat.
Miami’s Tyler Herro was one assist shy of a triple-double – finishing with 12 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.
Boston led 85-71 early in the fourth and kept the lead for almost all of the final period – until Butler connected on a 3-pointer from the right corner with 22 seconds left for a 106-105 Miami edge.
The Celtics tied it before the clock even started again. Derrick Jones Jr. was called for an away-from-the-play foul while Miami defended the inbounds pass, a call where the Heat argued to no avail that he got shoved instead. Tatum went to the line, tied the game with the free throw, and Boston all of a sudden went from needing a score to being able to run out the clock.
Miami wanted a traveling call when Tatum got the ball with about 7 seconds left. His 3-pointer was short, and to overtime they went.
Boston started fast by running out to a 24-11 lead, only to see Miami slow the Celtics down by going to plenty of zone and getting enough stops to allow their offense to start clawing back. The Heat scored 37 points in a 10-minute span of the second quarter – and the teams went into halftime knotted at 55.
The biggest Heat lead of the second half came early in the third, 61-56, after Butler got a short hook to fall.
Then Boston got rolling again.
The Celtics outscored the Heat 27-10 over the final 8:17 of the third quarter, Smart scoring 10 in that stretch to match the entire Miami output by himself, and the Boston lead was 83-71 going into the fourth. Miami shot 6 for 22 in the first quarter to get into trouble, then 6 for 20 in the third to get into a bigger mess.
Heat: Miami has gotten into early trouble in all three of its Game 1s in these playoffs – down eight to Indiana early in the first round, down 11 to Milwaukee in the opening quarter of the second round and down 13 to Boston in Tuesday’s first quarter. … Andre Iguodala, who played in zero conference-final games in his first 10 seasons, has now played in 22 since 2015.
Celtics: Boston’s record for consecutive Game 1 wins is 11, from 1985 through 1987. The Celtics won eight straight from 1959 through 1962. … Gordon Hayward (ankle) was inactive again, though the Celtics believe he can play in this series. … Brad Wanamaker had five steals for Boston.
MIAMI VS. BOSTON
Tuesday was the 141st meeting all-time between the Celtics and Heat. It also marked the 39th all-time matchup between the Boston Red Sox and Miami Marlins – but it was the first time those four clubs all faced off on the same date. The closest they previously came to colliding was 2012, when the Heat topped the Celtics in Game 7 of the East finals on June 9 and the Red Sox and Marlins opened a series two days later.
Tatum’s son young Deuce cleared quarantine and was reunited with his dad – and the rest of the Celtics – in the bubble on Tuesday. ”Ultimately, it’s just nice for them to see their families,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. ”I walked down the hallway with Deuce today, which was the highlight of my 70 days here. I think that’s just really cool.”
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports
Jaguars’ Cam Robinson tossed on stunningly weak ejection
Jacksonville Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson was ejected for making contact with an official in the third quarter of Thursday’s game with the Miami Dolphins.
Talk about a weak call.
Robinson is on the bottom of a pile after a strip-sack and fumble recovery by Kyle Van Noy of Miami. Check it out.
The NFL has dramatically pulled back on flags this season but … is still ejecting players for doing what Cam Robinson did (or didn’t) do there.
— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) September 25, 2020
Here is the play that led to the action that caused the ejection.
Blue Jays clinch 1st playoff spot since 2016, beat Yanks 4-1
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Hyun Jin Ryu pitched seven shutout innings and the Toronto Blue Jays clinched their first postseason spot since 2016, beating the Yankees 4-1 Thursday night and further damaging New York’s chances of hosting a first-round playoff series.
New York lost for the fourth time in five games and remained two games behind the slumping White Sox for the fourth seed. Chicago lost 5-4 at Cleveland, its fifth straight defeat.
Toronto secured at least an AL wild-card spot and ensured its eighth trip overall to the postseason.
Blue Jays players embraced on the diamond at their temporary home of Sahlen Field in Buffalo after Rafael Dolis struck out Aaron Hicks to end it.
The Blue Jays trail the Yankees by two games for second place in the AL East. Both teams have three games remaining. Toronto hosts Baltimore in Buffalo while the Yankees host the Marlins.
New York failed to hit a homer for the fourth straight game, matching its longest streak since June 2016. It’s the first time the Yankees have failed to homer in a four-game series since doing so at Texas in July 2013.
New York loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth, but pinch-hitter Gary Sanchez flied out to deep center, where Randal Grichuk made a leaping catch at the wall.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered for Toronto.
Ryu (5-2) scattered five hits, walked two and struck out four. Luke Voit and Hicks hit back-to-back singles to begin the sixth but Ryu struck out Giancarlo Stanton, got Gleyber Torres to fly out and retired Gio Urshela on a groundball.
Dolis got four outs for his fifth save in six chances.
Ryu became the first Blue Jays starting pitcher since Aug. 22, 2019, to pitch into the seventh, pitching around Clint Frazier’s leadoff single by setting down the next three, including pinch-hitter Aaron Judge. The left-hander lowered his ERA from 3.00 to 2.69.
Guerrero opened the scoring with a solo homer off left-hander Jordan Montgomery (2-3) in the second, his eighth.
The Blue Jays extended their lead when Cavan Biggio and Bo BIchette hit back-to-back, two-out doubles in the third.
Toronto made it 4-0 in the sixth. Grichuk chased Montgomery with a single and Guerrero singled off Adam Ottavino before rookie Alejandro Kirk hit a two-out, two-run double.
Montgomery lost for the first time in four starts. He allowed three runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings.
The Blue Jays finished 5-5 in their 10-game regular season series against the Yankees.
Blue Jays: RHP Nate Pearson (elbow) was activated off the injured list and RHP Wilmer Font was designated for assignment. . RHP Jordan Romano (strained right middle finger) will throw a second bullpen session Friday.
Yankees: Judge is expected to start all three remaining regular season games, manager Aaron Boone said.
New York infielder D.J. LeMaheiu went 1 for 5, dropping his MLB-best average to .355. A former NL batting champ seeing his first AL title, LeMahieu is well ahead of White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson. The Chicago star went 0 for 4 in Thursday’s loss to Cleveland, dropping his average to .338.
Boone said he expects to use both Sanchez and Kyle Higashioka at catcher in the postseason. Higashioka has hit well while working with ace Gerrit Cole, while Sanchez has struggled with both offense and his defense down the stretch.
Yankees: LHP J.A. Happ (2-2, 3.25) starts Friday as New York returns home to begin a three-game series against Miami. RHP Sandy Alcantara (3-2, 3.12) starts for the Marlins.
Blue Jays: RHP Taijuan Walker (4-3, 2.86) starts Friday in the opener of a three-game series against Baltimore. The Orioles have not named a starter.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports
Jamal Murray beats LeBron James for unreal lay-up
Jamal Murray’s onslaught in the 2020 NBA playoffs continued on Thursday with a lay-up that had to be seen — multiple times — to be believed.
Late in the second quarter of Game 4 against the Los Angeles Lakers, Murray caught the ball at the perimeter and started running downhill. A lurking LeBron James awaited Murray in the paint and seemed well-positioned to at least prevent the easy basket.
Murray responded with a much, much harder basket:
JAMAL MURRAY WENT MJ ON THIS LAYUP 🤯 pic.twitter.com/V3pkJv3VOB
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 25, 2020
The spin Murray puts on the ball to get it to kiss up and in is what really makes it. Murray would finish the first half with a team-high 16 points and 4 assists.
Reminiscient of Michael Jordan?
The highlight quickly drew comparisons to another incredible move nearly 30 years ago, when a young Michael Jordan reversed the prevailing narrative of his career at the time with a 33-point game in Game 2 of the 1991 NBA Finals.
You may remember the call of Jordan’s brightest moment: “A spectacular move!”
This isn’t the first time Murray has heard his name in the same conversation as Jordan this postseason. For all we know, it might not be the last.
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