Celtics vs. Heat score: Tyler Herro leads Miami to a 3-1 series lead over Boston with win in Game 4

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Tyler Herro was already a story before Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals. In Game 3, the rookie had exploded for 18 first-half points, including a flurry of 3s that kept the Miami Heat’s offense afloat. He was averaging 14.8 points, 4.0 assists and 5.7 rebounds in the playoffs, giving Miami extra playmaking beyond what Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo provide. But he didn’t have a game like this on his resume.

Herro poured in 37 points off the bench against the Boston Celtics in a 112-109 victory on Wednesday, and the Heat have a 3-1 lead in the series. Herro did it in ridiculously efficient fashion: 14-for-21 shooting, including 5-for-10 from deep. He punished Boston’s weaker defenders, exploited its drop coverage in pick-and-rolls and, after he’d heated up, he didn’t care who was guarding him. With about four minutes left in the fourth quarter, Herro isolated against Marcus Smart and launched a jumper from several feet behind the 3-point line. Smart contested it just fine, but it dropped through the net, earning a “BANG!” from Mike Breen on the broadcast.

Miami had a 12-point lead in the third quarter largely because of its defense, which took the Celtics completely out of rhythm. Boston star Jayson Tatum didn’t score a single point in the first half, and the Heat’s 2-3 zone once again proved disruptive.

But Tatum picked things up and finished this game with a team-high 28 points on 10-for-22 shooting — remarkable stuff from someone who was out of sorts for so long. Even when the Celtics got going, though, Miami was able to match their playmaking and defensive versatility with its own.

Bam Adebayo continued to give Boston trouble. He scored 20 points on 7-for-11 shooting, with 12 rebounds, four assists, two steals and an incalculable amount of activity at the bottom of the Heat’s zone. Butler and Dragic weren’t all that efficient, shooting-wise, but they made clutch plays and kept Miami steady on offense. The Celtics had a chance right down to the end, but couldn’t overcome their 19 turnovers. The Heat had only eight.

Miami has a chance to punch its Finals ticket in Game 5 on Friday.





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