For the second straight game, the Heat strayed away from playing solid defense, and it cost then big on Friday. The Celtics got too many open looks against Miami in Game 3, shooting 50 percent from the field.
Game 3 started off pretty competitively, but the Celtics started pulling away in the second quarter, taking a 13 point lead into the halftime break. They beat up the Heat some more in the third quarter, increasing their lead to 22 points.
The Heat tried to fight their way back in the final quarter, outscoring the Celtics by 12 points. Unfortunately for them, it was too little too late, bringing an end to their five-game winning streak.
"We were playing catch up the whole night," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters after the game. "We couldn't get over the hump. … We know this is a tough place to play. But we know we can play a lot better than this. … Our focus is Sunday. We know we can win games on the road. We know this is a tough place to play, but we know we can play a lot better."
Offensively, the Heat actually played well in Game 3, with LeBron James leading the pack with 34 points. Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers also played their part, putting up 18 and 14 points respectively.
Miami's role players didn't particularly play well, but they did get some help from Mike Miller, who finished with 11 points and 6 rebounds.
Without a doubt, Miami's porous defense was the main reason they lost on Friday, but their poor rebounding and free throw shooting didn't help either. They'll need to play a lot better when the two teams meet for Game 4 on June 3, since another Boston victory will erase all they did in the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals.
Associated Press, "Kevin Garnett, Celtics win Game 3, cut Heat's series lead to 2-1"
Jason Mastrodonato, "Miami Heat in catch-up mode 'the whole night' against Celtics"
Player and game information from ESPN.com and MiamiHeat.com
More from the Yahoo! Contributor Network:
- Sports & Recreation
- Miami Heat
- Boston Celtics