Celtics take breakthrough win over Heat in Game 3
ORLANDO, FL - SEPTEMBER 19: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics dunks the ball against the Miami Heat during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals of the NBA Playoffs on September 19, 2020 at AdventHealth Arena in Orlando, Florida.
ANDREW D. BERNSTEIN / NBAE / GETTY IMAGES / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP
Celtics take breakthrough win over Heat in Game 3
Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) - September 20, 2020 - 11:18am

MANILA, Philippines — The Boston Celtics avoided falling into a 0-3 hole against the Miami Heat with a crucial win in Game Three of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, 117-106, on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time).

Unlike their first two matchups, the Celtics avoided giving up their leads against the Erik Spoelstra-coached squad for a wire-to-wire win.

The Celtics dominated the Heat, leading Miami by as much as 20 in the fourth period.

Though Miami was able to cut into the lead in several points of the game and even got within three late in the second quarter, 48-51, the Celtics were able to answer back with runs of their own to create space anew.

Miami tried to mount another comeback late in the fourth quarter and were within five late, 104-109 with less than a minute left in regulation after a flagrant foul call on Jaylen Brown kept the door ajar, but the Celtics were able to hold them off for the win.

Boston's defense was able to limit the offensive production of Miami's top scorers Goran Dragic and Jimmy Butler.

Dragic and Butler were limited to 11 and 17 points, respectively.

Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro picked up the slack with a combined 49 points. Duncan Robinson, who led a late game effort for the Heat, finished with 13 markers.

Jayson Tatum and Brown paced Boston on offense with 25 and 26 points, respectively. Tatum also had 14 boards and eight dimes.

But it was Marcus Smart who eventually put the nail in the coffin for Boston, converting on crucial free throws down the stretch with 20 points to his name.

Kemba Walker chipped in 21 points while the returning Gordon Hayward tallied six points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block.

Game Four tips off on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time) with Boston aiming to tie the series.

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