NBA Playoffs: Miami stuns Boston, rallies from 13-point down to go up 1-0

Jimmy Butler is a man on a mission (AFP via

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Miami Heat continued its unbelievable post-season run after completing a come-from-behind victory to take Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals over the Boston Celtics, 123-116, in the ongoing NBA Playoffs last May 18, 2023.

It was shades of last year’s Eastern finals rematch when the Heat replicated its comeback effort and were also down by 13 points to steal the first game against the Celtics.

Jimmy Butler was once again a menace on both ends of the floor after top-scoring the game with 35 points while also tallying six steals alongside seven assists, and five rebounds.

Butler, who is coming off an injured ankle during their semifinals series against the New York Knicks, showed toughness and hunger against the Celtics and abused every switch he got when he established position down the block.

The hardworking superstar had an easy time scoring over Boston’s guards and sank 12 of his 25 total attempts from the shooting field.

Miami had a decent start when they kept it close, even taking the lead in the first 17 minutes of the game but after Boston stepped on the gas pedal midway through the second quarter, the Celtics quickly retook the lead and ballooned it to as much as 13 points off a Jayson Tatum foul-counted play in the 2:08 mark.

The Celtics continued its hot shooting when the third frame kicked off and protected its double-digit lead in the first two minutes. However, after a Bam Adebayo sweeping hook shot, the Heat suddenly looked like a different team and pulled off a massive 20-7 run for another lead switch, 79-78.

From there, Miami never looked back and kept on punching when the Celtics made baskets to keep themselves within striking distance.

With 2:13 remaining and the Heat seeking to close out the Celtics carrying a four-point lead, Butler found a wide-open Caleb Martin in the right corner who drilled the trey to help Miami establish a 117-110 lead.

Butler wasn’t done doing damage and drilled the cold-blooded dagger three-pointer from way downtown that increased their cushion to 10 points, 120-110, with only a minute remaining in Game 1.

Adebayo was also outstanding in Game 1 and put up 20 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and a steal while the quartet of Martin, Gabe Vincent, Kyle Lowry, and Max Struss scored 15 points each.

Despite a combined 52-point production from Boston’s dynamic duo of Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Celtics failed to remain consistent on the defensive end, proof is allowing the Heat to score 46 points in the third quarter alone.

Boston will look to retaliate and bag Game 2 on their home floor on May 20, 2023, before flying to Miami on May 22, 2023, for Game 3 on the road.