Jayson Tatum, Celtics Slammed for 2nd-Half Collapse in Game 1 vs. Jimmy Butler, Heat

Doric SamMay 18, 2022

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 17: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics drives to the basket against the Boston Celtics during the second quarter in Game One of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals at FTX Arena on May 17, 2022 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Throughout the early part of Tuesday's Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Boston Celtics looked like they were on their way to an easy victory as star forward Jayson Tatum opened up with a hot hand.

But it wasn't meant to be, as a massive second-half collapse by Boston opened the door for the Miami Heat to earn a 118-107 comeback win to take a 1-0 series lead.

The Celtics led by as many as 13 points in the first half. Tatum had 21 of his 29 points before halftime, and he had some people declaring him as a top-five player in the NBA. However, a disastrous third quarter led to Boston's demise as the team fell behind by as many as 20.

Unsurprisingly, much of the talk online about Tuesday's game centered on the Celtics' struggles in the second half.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Heat outscored Celtics by TWENTY-FIVE in the 3Q 🀯 <a href="https://t.co/pNT4YMDOpK">pic.twitter.com/pNT4YMDOpK</a>

br_betting @br_betting

The Celtics trying to figure out how to play basketball in the second half πŸ’€ <a href="https://t.co/Yad10TeBLv">pic.twitter.com/Yad10TeBLv</a>

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

The Celtics shot 2-for-15 (13.3%) in the 3rd quarter, their worst in any quarter over the last 4 seasons in the regular season or playoffs.<br><br>Boston was 1-12 on contested shots in the 3rd after making 15 of 31 contested shots in the 1st half. <a href="https://t.co/l30djhUcIo">pic.twitter.com/l30djhUcIo</a>

Brian Robb @BrianTRobb

Jayson Tatum had 6(!) turnovers in the third quarter.

Dan Greenberg @StoolGreenie

Celtics made 2 FGM and turn it over 8 times in that 3rd quarter<br><br>I can't even believe that's real

Jay King @ByJayKing

Just a despicable third quarter from the Celtics. Marcus Smart appears to be ripping them apart right now in the huddle between quarters. From where I'm sitting, he looks like he's really letting dudes have it.

James Herbert @outsidethenba

jimmy outscored the celtics 17-14 in the third q

Tom Westerholm @Tom_NBA

Tough to imagine a more catastrophic quarter by Tatum and Brown in particular.

Jared Weiss @JaredWeissNBA

Celtics have stopped running plays. Pritchard is trying to go iso. They're just hiding Rob Williams in the dunker spot instead of at least spacing out pick and roll for him &amp; Brown. Celtics still look like they don't know what they're doing while Nesmith is doing going crash mode

Chris Mannix @SIChrisMannix

The Celtics have had some horrific third quarters this season. This one ranks right up there as one of the worst.

Frank Isola @TheFrankIsola

And just like that the Celtics turned into the Suns.

Sean Grande @SeanGrandePBP

This is the first time since February 27 at Indiana, and just the second time in the last 51 games the Celtics have been behind by 20.

John Karalis πŸ‡¬πŸ‡· πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ @John_Karalis

I know you don't punt a freakin ECF game, but I do wonder if it's more valuable to the team to just chalk this up, get Tatum and Brown some extra rest, and just go for the split on Thursday to try to steal back home court

Jake Winderman @jakewinderman

I just don't understand what's going on. I was told the Celtics were already planning their championship parade?

Legend of DB Cooper @youFamousEnough

Celtics fans were talking so crazy after one half πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Boston fell victim to another special playoff performance by Heat star Jimmy Butler, who poured in 41 points on 12-of-19 shooting from the field to go with nine rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks. Butler didn't even make a three-pointer, and he hit 17 of his 18 free throws. It was his third 40-point game of the 2022 playoffs.

The Celtics were shorthanded on Tuesday as starting point guard and NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart sat out with a foot sprain. Veteran center Al Horford also missed the game after entering the league's health and safety protocols.

It looked like Boston ran out of gas after halftime, but Tuesday's loss will surely be looked at as a missed opportunity. The Celtics won three of the four quarters, but they still lost by 11, which illustrates just how devastating that third quarter was.

The Celtics had the chance to steal a road win to open the series, but they just couldn't keep up with the Heat in the second half.