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Bam Adebayo Compared To Kevin Garnett After Carrying Heat in Game 3 Win vs. Celtics

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 22, 2022

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Miami Heat have desperately needed more from Bam Adebayo in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics. In Game 3, he finally provided it.

With Jimmy Butler forced out of action for the entire second half due to knee inflammation, Adebayo responded with 31 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals in Miami's 109-103 win over the Celtics, giving the Heat a 2-1 advantage in the series.

NBA @NBA

Bam Adebayo is putting together a strong first half!<br><br>16 PTS, 6 AST, 2 STL for the <a href="https://twitter.com/MiamiHEAT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MiamiHEAT</a>'s man in the middle. <a href="https://t.co/XOYWzThFTb">pic.twitter.com/XOYWzThFTb</a>

NBA @NBA

Bam gets the steal and the score, he's leading the Heat on both ends!<br><br>20 PTS and 3 STL for Bam.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBAConferenceFinals?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBAConferenceFinals</a> presented by Google Pixel on ABC <a href="https://t.co/38huRjJrGs">pic.twitter.com/38huRjJrGs</a>

NBA @NBA

Bam Adebayo soars in for the slam 💥<br><br>🔥 27 PTS, 9 REB, 6 AST, 4 STL 🔥<br><br>Live Now on ABC <a href="https://t.co/bomGGCUZZV">pic.twitter.com/bomGGCUZZV</a>

Adebayo got his flowers on social media after the game, earning comparisons to NBA Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett, who, of course, won a title in Boston:

Lxwkey 𓅓 @TuatoJaylen

HES IS HIM. <a href="https://twitter.com/Bam1of1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Bam1of1</a> <a href="https://t.co/U0duJdQbl5">pic.twitter.com/U0duJdQbl5</a>

‎ً @Lukas44_sccp

Bam Adebayo today <a href="https://t.co/ddlrE9mmwp">pic.twitter.com/ddlrE9mmwp</a>

Just a Guy w/ opinions & preferences. @StopItSims

Bam Adebayo looking like Kevin Garnett out there…in Boston…crazy

Emile @eml_meister

I really see a lot of KG in Bam Adebayo. He has that same face up jumper that KG had plus both are athletic for their size and are demons on the defensive end.

Kelvin Long, Jr. @NGUCoachLong

Bam Adebayo is the 3rd best big in the L

Jeff Goodman @GoodmanHoops

It’s been Bam Adebayo’s Night. Has been absolutely phenomenal. Aggressive offensively and the Heat needed it without Jimmy Butler.

Michael Pina @MichaelVPina

absolutely incredible game from bam adebayo

ZipLoc G @GAGEmusicx

Bam Adebayo its ok u the MVP today <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HEATCulture?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HEATCulture</a>

Adebayo was superb—even if he has a long, long, long way to go before he's in the same conversation as KG—but he was only a part of the story on Saturday. Make no mistake about it: This was an absolutely wild 48 minutes of hoop. If you had to summarize this game in one word, it would be...wut.

  • Miami led by as many as 26 points in the second quarter, but a late Celtics run cut it to a 15-point deficit. 
  • Butler didn't return for the second half. 
  • Both Marcus Smart (ankle) and Jayson Tatum (shoulder) left the game at different points in the second half after being on the court with injuries, literally writhing in pain, only to return minutes later to the absolute delight of the TD Garden crowd.
  • The Celtics turned the ball over a whopping 24 times, leading to 33 Heat points. Miami, by contrast, only turned the ball over nine times, leading to nine Boston points. 
  • Boston cut the deficit to just one with 2:40 remaining, only to allow the Heat to go on a 7-0 run in the next minute that iced it. 
Tim Bontemps @TimBontemps

After the Celtics got to within 1:<br><br>Max Strus hits a 3<br>Boston shot clock violation<br>Bam Adebayo jumper at the end of the shot clock<br>Boston turnover<br>Boston intentional foul for two Miami FTs<br><br>Heat now back up by 8 with 1:07 to go.

It all spoiled a golden opportunity for the Celtics to win a crucial game at home with Butler sidelined and spoiled a topsy-turvy performance from Jaylen Brown that veered from sheer brilliance (40 points, nine rebounds) to head-scratching lapses in judgment (one assist, seven turnovers).

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Despite the loss, Jaylen Brown became the 1st player in the shot clock era (since 1954-55) to have a playoff game with 40 points on 100% 2-point FG shooting.<br><br>Brown shot 11-11 from inside the arc. <a href="https://t.co/Yor8RSSGaX">pic.twitter.com/Yor8RSSGaX</a>

Jackson Safon @JacksonSafon

Jaylen Brown gotta be the best player in nba history who doesn’t know how to dribble

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA

Jaylen Brown is out of control. Handle is a mess right now.

Meanwhile, Tatum struggled, managing only 10 points on 3-of-14 shooting from the field.

This game truly was a beautiful mess, and it was only Game 3.

Thus far, the reprisal of the bubble's 2020 Eastern Conference Finals has sure been a lot of fun. Round 3 goes to Miami, courtesy of Bam.

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