It was all right there. The Heat held a 3-0 series lead over the Celtics, a game at home, a trip to the Finals just sitting there, waiting.
Then the Heat played their worst half of the playoffs, dropping a 116-99 decision in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, with Game 5 headed back to Boston.
The Heat have already won there twice. Can they do it again? That is the question.
But star wing Jimmy Butler remains confident. Clearly.
”We’ll be OK,” he told reporters.
Nor is Butler worried that the momentum has shifted to the Celtics.
“No. If anything, it will build momentum for us, knowing we have to play with a lot more energy,” he said.
Man, is that ever the truth. For the first time all series, the Heat resembled the No. 8 seed that they are.
Butler finished with 29 points and nine rebounds, but the help around him fell flat.
Boston ramped it up when the game meant the most, going on an 18-0 burst in the third quarter. Miami was playing catch-up the rest of the way.
“They got us tonight,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “You have to give them credit for that. There’s no doubt about it. There’s no questioning it. We’re not wondering about that. They deserved to win tonight. We have to regroup and get ready for a great opportunity in Boston.”
Got a chance to close it out Thursday in Boston. pic.twitter.com/YyUHYYahUl
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 24, 2023
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