After failing to capitalize on a golden opportunity on their home floor in Game 6 on Friday night, the Celtics head to Miami with the best-of-seven series tied at three games apiece, and a trip to the NBA finals once again on the line.
When asked after the game about his confidence level in his team heading into Game 7 on the road, Celtics star Jayson Tatum didn’t hesitate.
“Scale of one to 10? 10. I mean, it shouldn’t be any less than that, right? You know, it’s the last game. That’s what it’s all about. It’s a 10 out of 10 in my confidence level and the group,” Tatum said.
Turnovers once again plagued the Celtics on Friday night. Boston committed 17 turnovers, and while some could be attributed to the uptick in pressure by the Heat defense, several of them were once again unforced.
Tatum finished with 30 points, but only had one made field goal in the 4th quarter and committed four of his team-high seven turnovers with the game on the line.
“It’s kind of indicative of how our nights have been in this series when we don’t take care of the ball,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka said.
“A lot of careless ones, unforced, and that got us behind. Throughout the game any time we got within striking range, it felt like we had a poor decision, and they got out and scored. [We] had chances and didn’t take advantage of them.”
The Celtics defense struggled to defend the Heat all night, and allowed Miami star Jimmy Butler to get into a rhythm. Butler finished with a game-high 47 points, showing he’s every bit of the superstar that the Heat expect him to be.
The series now shifts back to Miami on Sunday night, with Butler and company one step away from their second finals appearance in three seasons.
More NBA Coverage:
- Jimmy Butler Wills Battered Heat to Game 7
- Darvin Ham’s Biggest Challenge as New Lakers Coach
- Jimmy Butler Makes Bold Claim After Heat Force Game 7
- Inside The Celtics: ‘This Game Hurt; to Lose on Our Home Floor, but We’ve Got to Have a Short-Term Memory;’ Ready or Not, Celtics on to Game 7
For more Boston Celtics coverage, go to Inside The Celtics.