NBA

Heat blow out Celtics to take 3-0 lead in East final

By Sports Desk May 22, 2023

The Miami Heat are now one win away from the NBA Finals after routing the Boston Celtics 128-102 on Sunday to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

Gabe Vincent scored a career-high 29 points and Duncan Robinson added 22 off the bench as the duo led a torrid shooting display that propelled the Heat to the lopsided victory.

Miami shot 54.3 percent (19 of 35) from 3-point range for the game, with Vincent going 6 of 9 from beyond the arc and Robinson 5 of 7.

After rallying in the second half to win Games 1 and 2 in Boston, the Heat led virtually from start to finish in this one to go on the verge of joining the 1999 New York Knicks as the only No. 8 seeds in league history to reach the Finals. Miami can wrap up the series at home on Tuesday.

No team in NBA history has lost a seven-game playoff series when leading 3-0.

Miami put together a 9-0 run late in the first quarter to build a 30-20 lead in the final minute of the period, then later outscored the Celtics 25-10 over a 5 1/2-minute stretch in the second quarter to extend the margin. Vincent scored the first five points of the surge, which Robinson capped with a 3-pointer that put the Heat up 59-37 with under four minutes left in the half.

The Celtics never got their deficit out of double digits the rest of the way as Miami’s lead grew to as much as 33 points in the third quarter.

Jayson Tatum led Boston with 14 points while finishing 6 of 18 from the field, while Jaylen Brown was held to 12 points on 6-of-17 shooting. The two All-Stars were a combined 1 of 14 from 3-point range.

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