The Miami Heat shocked the Boston Celtics with a 111-101 victory in Game 2 of the first round Wednesday night, evening the series at one game apiece. The eighth-seeded Heat earned the upset without two top scorers, making 23 three-pointers in a stunningly efficient showing.

Celtics star Jayson Tatum, who scored 28 points in the contest, didn’t have much explanation for his team’s performance but vowed to make the necessary changes for Game 3 on Saturday.

“We gotta be more creative,” Tatum said after the game. The playoffs are about making adjustments game-to-game, and they did that. They’re not just going to let us catch the ball. Our job is to react in real-time as well as make our adjustments going game-to-game.”

While Tatum and fellow Celtics leader Jaylen Brown had solid individual performances, scoring 61 combined points, the two did not contribute to Boston’s strong overall performance. Star big man Kristaps Porzingis received limited looks down low and scored just six points.

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Boston’s facilitating struggles were painfully apparent alongside the Heat, who played flawlessly despite taking the floor shorthanded. With Jimmy Butler and Terry Rozier out with injuries, Miami shot 53.5% from beyond the arc and turned to center Bam Adebayo and guard Tyler Herro to lead the team instead.

Adebayo, a vital member of the team’s run to the Finals last season, limited Porzingis on defense and held his own at the rim, scoring 21 points with ten rebounds. Meanwhile, Herro stepped up to lead the team at guard, scoring 24 points with 14 assists.

As a result of these unlikely heroics in Game 2, the Heat are now better poised to spring a playoff upset on the first-seeded Celtics, one year after the team accomplished the same feat in the Eastern Conference Final. For all of the Celtics’ improvements in the 2023-24 season, the team proved Wednesday that it may still have some of the same postseason struggles.

In all likelihood, Boston will still defeat Miami in the first round, as Butler is unlikely to return, and the Heat had to play perfectly to get this far. Still, earning a predictable sweep and cruising to the next round would be far more encouraging for a team that dominated the Eastern Conference throughout the regular season. It is clear now that Miami does not intend to go so quietly.

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