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Bam Adebayo Says Celtics 'Woke a Fire Up' in Heat for Game 3 After Game 2 Loss

Erin WalshMay 22, 2022

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Celtics embarrassed the Heat 127-102 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday at FTX Arena, and the Heat returned the favor in Game 3 on Saturday, defeating Boston 109-103 at TD Garden to take a 2-1 series lead. 

After the game, Heat big man Bam Adebayo told reporters that Boston's Game 2 victory sparked a fire in the team entering Game 3. 

"They beat us like we stole something in Game 2," Adebayo said. "That woke a fire up in all of us."

Celtics head coach Ime Udoka opted to leave most of his starters in Game 2, with Boston up a significant amount, until there was just minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra took most of his starters out far before then. 

Game 2 saw Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart finish with more than 20 points. Grant Williams also had 19 points in the win while Payton Pritchard had 10 off the bench. 

Saturday's Game 3 was a different story, with Miami jumping out to an early 39-18 lead in the first quarter. While the first quarter was the only one the Heat won, they were able to hold off the Celtics with some great defense. 

Miami forced Boston into 23 turnovers and also finished with four blocks and a franchise playoff record 19 steals. They did so without the help of Jimmy Butler, who didn't play the second half because of knee inflammation, and a somewhat limited Kyle Lowry, who was coming off a hamstring injury. 

In addition, the Miami defense limited Tatum to just 10 points on 3-of-14 shooting from the floor and 1-of-7 shooting from deep. It was arguably Tatum's worst performance of the playoffs and worst since he finished with just 10 points in Game 3 of the team's second-round matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks. 

Adebayo also had his best game of the series on Saturday, finishing with 31 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, four steals and one block in 42 minutes. He saw an uptick in playing time due to Butler's injury. 

Through the first two games of the series, Adebayo was averaging just eight points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and two blocks. His play will be key to Miami's success against Boston, and Spoelstra will need to continue to find ways to get the ball in his hands. 

The return of Lowry also proved to be incredibly valuable for the Heat as he finished with 11 points, one rebound, six assists and four steals in 29 minutes. 

Game 4 between the Heat and Celtics is set for Monday night at TD Garden. The Heat will look to extend their series lead 3-1 before heading back to Miami for Game 5. 

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