By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
History was made in Boston, but not for the Celtics.
Eastern Conference finals MVP Jimmy Butler scored 28 points, and Caleb Martin had 26 points and 10 rebounds to help the eighth-seeded Heat beat Boston 103-84 in Game 7 and advance to the NBA Finals for the second time in four seasons.
“We stayed together as a group. As a team, we talked about going and getting a tough one on the road. We did just that,” Butler said. “But we’re not satisfied. We’re excited. We’re happy. But we’ve got one more to get.”
Bam Adebayo scored 12 points with 10 rebounds for Miami, which is the first No. 8 seed to reach the NBA Finals since the 1999 New York Knicks.
Game 6 hero Derrick White scored 18 for Boston, which was hoping to become the first NBA team in 151 tries to advance after falling behind 0-3 in a best-of-seven series. Jaylen Brown scored 19 with eight rebounds but went 1 for 9 from 3-point range and committed eight turnovers.
Jayson Tatum, who scored a Game 7 record 51 points against Philadelphia in the conference semis, had 14 points with 11 rebounds after turning his ankle on the first play of the game and limping through 42 minutes.
The Celtics led by five points early before conceding a 14-4 run to end the first quarter and then giving up 16 of the first 22 points in the second.
Miami led 76-66 lead at the end of three, then Tatum missed a layup to open the fourth quarter, and Brown followed with back-to-back turnovers; at the other end, Martin hit a 3-pointer and Butler hit a pair of baskets to give Miami an 83-66 lead.
Boston never got with 15 after that.
“We failed. I failed and we let the whole city down,” Brown said. “In spite of whatever circumstance we had this year we rose to the occasion. We got to this point and we came up short.”