National Basketball Association
Heat avoid making wrong kind of history vs. Celtics, instead headed to NBA Finals
National Basketball Association

Heat avoid making wrong kind of history vs. Celtics, instead headed to NBA Finals

Updated May. 29, 2023 11:58 p.m. ET

The Miami Heat dominated the Boston Celtics, 103-84, to win their Eastern Conference finals series in seven games on Monday night.

The victory marks Miami's seventh NBA Finals appearance since 2006, most in the league.

While the Celtics set aim on NBA history to become the first franchise to ever win a series after trailing 3-0, Miami showed on why it led the series 3-0 in the first place.

Erik Spoelstra's adjustment to zone defense gave Boston fits, as the Heat held the Celtics to 15 points in the first quarter and turned a seven-point lead after one into an 11-point advantage at halftime.


Jimmy Butler regained his form and went off for 28 points, seven rebounds and six assists while Caleb Martin summed up why this Miami team has made a run to the Finals, showcasing the continued growth of the Heat's supporting cast. He scored 26 points along with nine rebounds and three assists.

[Next up for the Boston Celtics: Two massive, future-defining decisions]

Two stats to know: Miami's undrafted players totaled 56 points in the game.

The Celtics suffered their third home loss of the series, and finished at 5-6 in TD Garden in the postseason.

The Dagger: The Celtics were within 10 at the start of the fourth quarter, but Martin and Martin scored the first seven points on a 10-3 run to start the fourth, which decimated Boston's remaining hopes.

What's next for the Heat: The NBA Finals begin on Thursday in Denver at 8:30 p.m. ET.

[Nuggets vs Heat: NBA Finals prediction, pick, Game 1 odds, series odds]

What's next for the Celtics: A critical offseason lies ahead, with the biggest storylines being Jaylen Brown's future and potential next destination, as well as the fate of head coach Joe Mazzulla.

John Fanta is a national college basketball broadcaster and writer for FOX Sports. He covers the sport in a variety of capacities, from calling games on FS1 to serving as lead host on the BIG EAST Digital Network to providing commentary on The Field of 68 Media Network. Follow him on Twitter @John_Fanta.

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