National Basketball Association
Celtics top Heat 102-88 despite Kristaps Porzingis' injury to take a 3-1 East playoff series lead
National Basketball Association

Celtics top Heat 102-88 despite Kristaps Porzingis' injury to take a 3-1 East playoff series lead

Updated Apr. 30, 2024 5:25 p.m. ET

Derrick White scored a career-high 38 points, Jayson Tatum added 20 points and 10 rebounds, and the Boston Celtics beat the Miami Heat 102-88 on Monday night to take a 3-1 lead in their Eastern Conference first-round series.

Jaylen Brown scored 17 points and Jrue Holiday had 11 for the top-seeded Celtics, who lost Kristaps Porzingis in the first half to what the team said was a right calf injury. Boston won at Miami for the sixth straight time and improved to 14-3 in their last 17 games on the Heat's home floor.


Bam Adebayo finished with 25 points, 17 rebounds and five assists for Miami, which had a sellout crowd — including Lionel Messi — but played again without injured starters Jimmy Butler (knee) and Terry Rozier (neck). The Heat managed only 84 points in Game 3 and struggled again on offense in Game 4. Tyler Herro scored 19 points and Caleb Martin had 18 for the eighth-seeded Heat.

The Celtics can advance to the second round on Wednesday when they host Game 5. The Boston-Miami winner will meet the Cleveland-Orlando winner in the East semifinals; that Cavaliers-Magic series won't end until at least Friday.

But the Celtics now have an injury concern, with Porzingis lifting his jersey over his face in exasperation after getting hurt late in the first half. And with 5:04 left, the drama ramped up again when Tatum tried to shoot a 3-pointer after a foul was called. Adebayo defended the dead-ball play, and Tatum rolled his left ankle — but stayed in the game — after Adebayo stepped into his landing area. Referees called a flagrant-1 on Adebayo, and a technical on Al Horford.

The good news for Boston: History says this series is just about over.

This is the 29th time a Boston team has taken a 3-1 lead in a best-of-seven series. The Celtics won all 28 of the previous series, including seven times in the NBA Finals and a first-round series against Miami in 2010 — the last games the Heat played before luring LeBron James and Chris Bosh to South Florida and forming a superteam around Dwyane Wade.

Miami just couldn't keep up in this one. White had 16 points in the first quarter, when the Celtics built a 34-24 lead. And no matter what the Heat did on defense, the offense couldn't make up any gaps.

Consider: The Celtics had 34 points after 12 minutes, and it took the Heat almost 23 minutes — nearly the entire first half — to hit the 34-point mark. Miami had only 59 points through three quarters, matching a season low set in Game 1 of this series at Boston.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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