Herro takes Heat to doorstep of NBA finals

Lake Buena Vista, US, Sep 23 (efe-epa).- Rookie shooting guard Tyler Herro starred in his greatest night since his draft into the NBA as he led the Miami Heat attack in a 112-109 win over the Boston Celtics in game four of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday.

The Miami team now enjoys a 3-1 lead in a best-of-seven match-up, and is just one win away from reaching their first NBA finals since 2014, when they had the services of star player LeBron James.

Herro scored 37 points, collected six rebounds and provided three assists, while All-Star Jimmy Butler contributed 24 points and nine rebounds, including a decisive three points in the last 10 seconds that clinched them the game.

He became the second 20-year-old player in NBA playoffs history to score at least 37 points in a match after basketball legend Magic Johnson, who scored 42 in the NBA finals in 1980.

“I feel good about it,” Herro said after the game. “There’s a lot of work to be done still. We’re up 3-1.”

Among other players for the Heat, Goran Dragic scored 22 points, while Bam Adebayo posted a double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds.

Jayson Tatum was the leader of the Celtics with 28 points – all of them in the second half – as well as nine rebounds and four assists, while Jaylen Brown scored 21 points, including four three-pointers, and collected nine rebounds.

The Boston team was also hurt by the slow start for Tatum, who was scoreless in the first half – a first for him this season.

“I didn’t score in the first half. That’s unacceptable,” Tatum said. “I know I have to play better. That’s what I tried to do.”

Kemba Walker added 20 points with five assists, Gordon Hayward contributed 14 points, and Marcus Smart posted a double-double of 10 points and 11 assists.

Although the Celtics overturned a deficit of more than 10 points in the second half and took the lead at 85-84, in the end they could not prevail against the Heat’s power-packed game and strong defensive line.

It was a neck-and-neck contest until the very end and the result could have gone either way, but Herro and Butler’s performances made the difference in the end.

The fifth match of the series will be played on Friday. EFE-EPA


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