Jayson Tatum scores 6, Celtics beat Heat in Game 4

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The Celtics turned the ball over just nine times and won by 20 points.

Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum reacts during the second quarter of Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Here’s what the Celtics got when they beat the Heat in a stunning 102-82 victory, and it really wasn’t that close.

1. The Celtics finished with nine turnovers and a 20-point victory, even though they shot just 27-for-67 (40.3 percent) and 7-for-29 (24.1 percent) from 3 in the starting lineup. fourth quarter.

The Heat finished with 19 steals in Game 3.

“I think we only have [3-4 turnovers] In the first quarter,” Ime Udoka said. “So, obviously, taking care of the ball is huge, getting them to score in the half, rather than having us help them get runs in the last game. “

Sometimes basketball is a complex game with complex interpretations.

Sometimes not.

2. The Heat got off to a bad start — they barely got into double figures in the first quarter (29-11) and didn’t score a single point until 3:22 of the first quarter. After Victor Oladipo scored the team’s first shot — a 3-pointer — they didn’t score again until 1:50 left.

The Celtics’ defense was still a monster when they stopped the Heat from exiting in transition.

3. Udoka and multiple Celtics players point out that they need to play better after winning and losing.

“I think that’s what our team is like,” Robert Williams said. “We need to try to get better at this. We shouldn’t be punched in the mouth to respond. That’s just my opinion.”

Udoka suggested the Celtics take care of something in person after Game 3.

“We have a proud team, one of the best defensive teams in the league, and individuals who have heard some of what people have to say and are proud of these games,” Udoka said . “So come out with the right mindset, but have to replicate the Game 5 win, not just when we lose.”

4. Williams limped on the bench in the third quarter, an ominous sign for a Celtics team that was already without Marcus Smart in Game 4 signs.

Williams ended the game with fairly standard statistics — 12 points, nine rebounds and two blocks in just 18 minutes — but his impact as a rim protector was huge. Even Jimmy Butler was hampered by Williams’ size and athleticism, and Bam Adebayo didn’t feel comfortable with Williams’ athleticism after Game 3. The Celtics, on the other hand, left Williams in the dunker spot — a tweak that The Athletic’s Mike Prada has been keenly aware of. Doing so forces Miami’s defense (which lacks rim protection) to stay behind and guard the Celtics’ offense around the rim, rather than letting Adebayo roam in his comfortable space.

“When they read to us, you have to make the right game,” Williams said. “I don’t necessarily think teams are doing things differently. It’s just that you can never take everything away. So when they show you books, make yourself a play.”

The Celtics desperately need Williams to stay healthy for this series, but he was noncommittal about his potential availability, although he said the knee “feels good, feels good.”

“We usually just wait until the next day to see if it’s swollen or something,” Williams said. “Like I said, coming out of this game, I have no doubts in my mind. I feel good about it.”

5. Jayson Tatum didn’t fully support the team as he did in Game 6 against the Bucks, but he hit the free throw line 16 times and was rewarded for a neat 31-point performance on 8 shots despite the Had a tough night from 3-point range (1-for-7) but shot -16.

“They really squeeze our players on the perimeter, and sometimes you just have to break the game, be aggressive, and go downhill,” Udoka said. “That’s been done from the beginning. Then they went to smaller lineups where they didn’t have a lot of rim protection, so we really tried to get into the paint, attack. Obviously, get 14 or 16 free throws against him. It’s huge.”

Tatum, who suffered a stinging shoulder on Saturday, bounced back after a poor performance, although he still can’t find his shooting touch.

“I think I’m doing fine after going to bed, whether I have a 10 or a 46, the next day is the next day, no matter what happens,” Tatum said. “I firmly believe you can’t change what happened. .

“The last 48 hours was cool, watching basketball, eating, just a normal day. Obviously I’m ready to get back on the court, but I don’t doubt myself. I know how to play basketball. No matter how many points I get, I just want to stand Come out and help us win. That’s the most important thing.”

6. Al Horford had just 5 points but still had a great game — 13 rebounds and 4 blocks. The Celtics had a lot of injury problems in the playoffs, but Horford — the oldest player on the team — was on the floor, and the Celtics outscored him by 10 points when he was on the floor. is the highest overall score for any starter.

Game 5 ends Wednesday at 8:30pm.

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