The Miami Heat took down the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals in overtime and will look to build upon their lead in the series on Thursday. The Celtics are favored by a small margin in Game 2, so things could come down to the wire again.
Jayson Tatum had a dominant scoring performance and scored a game-high 30 points to go along with a game-high 14 rebounds. While he’s usually Boston’s main source for points, he got unexpected contributions from Marcus Smart and Brad Wanamaker. Smart filled it up from deep and made six shots from beyond the arc. He scored 26 points. Wanamaker stuffed the stat sheet with 11 points, six assists, and five steals. Tatum will need help from role players to compete against a Miami team that has a ton of depth.
Goran Dragic was a pleasant surprise for the Heat on offense. He’s thrived in the playoffs and scored 29 points. His scoring kept Miami in the hunt while Jimmy Butler struggled to score early. Butler showed up in the clutch and finished with 20 points. Bam Adebayo chipped in with 18 points and nine assists while Jae Crowder made up for Duncan Robinson’s slow night by pouring in 20 points.
There’s no telling how the game script will go on Thursday, but it appears like basketball fans should get another intense battle. Bench points will be a major stat worth tracking in the series.
Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming
Thursday’s game will take place at 7:00 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on ESPN and stream on WatchESPN.
Point Spread, Totals, Odds
Point spread: Celtics (-2.5)
Point Total: O/U 208.5
Money line: Celtics (-141), Heat (+120)
The Best Bet: Heat moneyline (+120)
The Celtics are favored by a narrow margin again, but I think the Heat will get the job done to go up 2-0. Boston got significant offensive contributions from every member of its big three and Smart, but still fell short against a Miami team that had its two lowest scoring quarters of the playoffs in Game 1. Gordon Hayward could tip the scales in Boston’s favor, but he’s listed as doubtful for Game 2.
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