Miami rains 23 3-pointers on Boston, steals Game 2 to even series

Miami Heat v Boston Celtics
Miami Heat v Boston Celtics

Forget Xs and Os strategy, matchups or any other coaching strategy, Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals came down to this one stat:

Miami shot 23-of-43 (53.5%) from 3.

The Celtics — who led the league in 3-point attempts and makes this season — were a respectable 12-of-32 from 3, but that gap of 33 points from beyond the arc was too much to make up.

The Heat upset the Celtics 111-101 in Boston to even the Eastern Conference Finals series 1-1 heading back to Miami for Game 3 on Saturday.

The loss brought back uncomfortable memories of last season for Celtics fans, when the No. 8 seed Heat knocked the No. 1 seed Celtics out of the playoffs and shot better than 50% from beyond the arc in three games. This may feel like more of a one-off for Miami that will be difficult to replicate, but the Celtics need to shake off those ghosts and do a better job next game on close-outs.

Also, credit needs to go to Bam Adebayo, who had a spectacular game balancing out the 3-point barrage with one-on-one attacks in the paint. Adebayo finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds.

All the Heat starters had hot shooting nights: Tyler Herro hit six 3s on his way to 24 points, Caleb Martin (who was booed every time he touched the ball after his hard foul on Jayson Tatum in Game 1) scored 21 and was 5-of-6 from deep, rookie Jaime Jaquez added 14 and Nikola Jovic finished with 11.

Tatum and Jaylen Brown carried the load for Boston, scoring 61, but the rest of the Celtics shot 37.8% overall. Derrick White was the only other Boston player in double digits, scoring 13.

Miami got what it wanted in Boston, but now it has to replicate what it did at home last year and without Jimmy Butler, who remains out with an MCL sprain.