Lake Buena Vista, Florida, US, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- Slovenian point guard Goran Dragic and center Bam Adebayo propelled the Miami Heat to a 106-101 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 2 of the best-of-seven series of the Eastern Conference finals at the Advent Health Arena on Thursday.
Dragic scored 25 points, including three 3-pointers out of seven attempts, handed out five assists and grabbed three rebounds.
Adebayo had a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds – seven defensive – and handed out four assists, had two steals and one block.
Guard Duncan Robinson hit six of 12 3-pointers for 18 points.
Three other Heat players posted double-digit scores, including star guard Jimmy Butler, who made 14 points.
The Celtics dominated in the first half to post a 17-point lead and ended the second quarter 13 points ahead with the score at 60-47.
But the Heat outscored the Celtics 37-17 in the third quarter with Adebayo, the defensive hero of the first game, singlehandedly outplaying and outshooting his opponents.
The Boston team shot four of 12 from the field in this quarter while Adebayo hit seven of eight for 15 points to put the Heat up by seven (84-77).
The Celtics made a recovery in the fourth quarter on a 15-2 run to take the score to 94-89 with 4:25 minutes to go.
But this only set the stage for another run by the Heat, this time of 17-7, which would be the decisive one with a great team effort that brought them closer to the NBA finals.
The Miami team is now two wins away from its first NBA final since 2014.
“We like to make it hard on ourselves. We like being down double digits and being the comeback kids,” Jimmy Butler said after the game.
Point guard Kemba Walker scored 23 points for the Celtics while guard Jaylen Brown and forward Jayson Tatum added 21 each.
“Just win the next one. Take it one game at a time,” Jayson Tatum said after the loss.
“We’re not beating this team if we’re not completely connected on both ends of the court. So we’ve got to get back to being that … We’re going to have to fight to get back into this series,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.
Game 3 will be played at the same venue in Orlando on Saturday. EFE-EPA