The Celtics were defeated 123-116 by Jimmy Butler and the Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Celtics were destroyed in the second half by the Heat, a hard-nosed team that should prove to be more of a challenge than any the Celtics have faced thus far.
Jimmy Butler was outstanding, scoring 35 points on 12-for-25 shooting and six steals that were extremely costly for the Celtics.
The Heat had an uncharacteristically hot 3-point shooting performance (16-for-31) and forced the Celtics into a pitiful 10-for-29 effort, which will not help this Celtics squad win many games.
The Celtics can (and ought to) make a comeback. Since they are more talented than the Heat, some of the statistical outliers should disappear.
But every postseason game is crucial, and the Celtics will once again be in a life-or-death situation in Game 2.
The Heat dominated the third quarter, defeating the Celtics 46 (yep, you read that correctly: 46!) to 25, wiping away a Celtics lead that grew to as much as 13.
The Celtics were immediately behind by ten points and faced an uphill battle in the fourth when Max Strus sank a 3-pointer to close the third.
The main offenders were Butler and Strus. Butler closed the frame with 12 points, three assists, and 13 points from Strus.