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Celtics-Heat takeaways: Miami catches fire from 3 to even series

Celtics-Heat takeaways: Miami catches fire from 3 to even series originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

BOSTON -- The Miami Heat gave the Boston Celtics a taste of their own medicine in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series at TD Garden.

After allowing 22 3-pointers in the Celtics' wire-to-wire Game 1 win, the Heat one-upped Boston in Wednesday's showdown. They torched the C's from deep early and often, drilling eight 3-pointers in the first quarter and surpassing their season-high with 13 3s in the first half.

The Celtics still led by three at the midway point, but Miami's 3s kept falling when Boston's offense fell flat. The result was a 111-101 Heat win to tie the series at one game apiece as it shifts to South Beach.

All five Heat starters scored in double figures with Tyler Herro leading the way with 24 points. Bam Adebayo and Caleb Martin added 21 points apiece.

Jaylen Brown (33) and Jayson Tatum (28) combined for 61 of the Celtics' 101 points. Derrick White (13 points) was the only other C's player to reach double digits.

Tip-off for Game 3 is set for 6 p.m. ET on Saturday with Mike Gorman and Brian Scalabrine on the call for NBC Sports Boston. Coverage begins at 5 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live.

Before we look ahead to that matchup, here are three takeaways from Game 2.

C's survive Miami's best from deep

The Celtics thrived on 3-pointers in Game 1, tying a franchise playoff record with 22 makes from beyond the arc. They had 12 more 3-point attempts than Miami, and that proved to be the difference in their dominant 114-94 win.

The Heat took a page out of the C's playbook in Game 2. They caught fire from deep early, going 8-for-15 in the first quarter. That tied their highest number of 3-point attempts in a quarter this season and tied their franchise playoff record for makes in a quarter. Their 13 first-half 3-pointers topped their total from Game 1 (12).

Somehow, Boston still found itself up three at the half amid Miami's 3-point barrage. But when the Celtics offense went cold in the second half, the Heat took advantage.

Miami finished 23-of-43 (53.5 percent) from long range to set a franchise record for 3s made in a playoff game. It topped its regular-season high of 21 3-pointers.

The Heat's 23 3-pointers marked the most ever allowed in the playoffs by Boston. The Celtics, meanwhile, were a modest 12-of-32 (37.5 percent) from deep.

Hot 3-point shooting has become a trend for Miami in the playoffs vs. Boston. Erik Spoelstra's team shot over 50 percent from 3 in three Eastern Conference Finals games last year.

The Jays can't carry the load

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown did their part to keep this game close. Unfortunately for Boston, it was a rough night for the supporting cast.

In Game 1, Tatum notched the first triple-double of his postseason career with a team-high 23 points despite a less-than-stellar shooting performance. He improved in that department in Game 2.

Tatum was hot from the opening tip, tallying 10 points in the first five minutes and finishing the frame with 14 of Boston's 27 points. He matched his career playoff-high for points in a first quarter while shooting 5-of-6 from the field.

Tatum finished with 28 points (18 in the first half) on 10-of-20 shooting (2-6 3-PT). He added eight rebounds and three assists.

Brown was the key to Boston surviving Miami's first-half 3s. He erupted for 21 points (9-15 FG, 3-6 3-PT) through the first two frames, including 11 in the final two minutes of the half to put the C's up three.

Brown ended up with a game-high 33 points (13-23 FG) and eight boards in a losing effort. It simply wasn't enough to make up for what Boston lacked elsewhere in the lineup.

This was a night to forget for Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday. The duo totaled 15 points on a woeful 5-for-21 from the field (1-8 3-PT). Porzingis also earned three fouls in the first half.

The next highest Celtics scorer after Brown and Tatum was Derrick White (13 points), though he did most of his damage in the fourth quarter with under five minutes to go. By then it was too little, too late.

The C's will need bounce-back performances from Porzingis and Holiday on Saturday. Otherwise, Miami could start to take control of this series.

Caleb Martin embraces the villain role

Martin predictably was public enemy No. 1 at TD Garden after his controversial Game 1 foul on Tatum. He was booed loudly each time he touched the ball and there was even a brief "f--- you, Caleb!' chant from the rafters.

The noise didn't appear to faze the Heat forward. He reverted to his 2023 Eastern Conference Finals self, dropping 21 points (7-12 FG) while making five of his six 3s.

Martin's performance, and Miami's overall output from 3-point range, was reminiscent of last year's letdown playoff series for Boston. The Celtics will hope to avoid a similar result this year, starting with a bounce-back performance Saturday in South Beach.