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After getting off to a great start in the first half, putting 62 points on the board, led by Jayson Tatum, who scored 21 of his team-high 29 in the first two quarters, the Heat snatched the game from the Celtics in the third frame.

Miami raised its physicality and effort level, and Jimmy Butler turned in 27 of his game-high 41 points, staking the Heat to a series-opening win. What makes the sting of defeat even worse for Boston is how much easier it would've been to rest Marcus Smart until Game 3 if the Celtics had prevailed.


The same goes for squandering the chance for a 1-0 cushion to soften the potential impact of not having Al Horford again on Thursday. Not to mention, Horford entering health and safety protocols sparks fear that the virus spreads.

As difficult as it is to do, the Celtics know they have to maintain focus and quickly move on from Tuesday's loss. That's why Daniel Theis is glad his team's playing every other day this round.

"It's one of the great parts about the playoffs. You're not going to have too many days to think about what went wrong, Theis said Wednesday."


When it comes to bouncing back in Game 2, Robert Williams stated: "We've just got to come together, correct the mistakes, and be ready to fight."

What Boston got from Williams in the series opener was one of and arguably the most positive development of the game for them. The Timelord looked more like himself than in his initial return from left knee surgery, scoring 18 points, grabbing nine rebounds, and swatting two shots.

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Williams playing at a level approaching his pre-injury form becomes increasingly important if the Celtics don't have Horford on Thursday. Speaking about the absences of his front-court mate and not having Smart, Williams expressed: "Obviously, it's tough losing any teammates. Especially two starters. But like I said, it's next man up mentality."

Further Reading

Jayson Tatum, Celtics Discuss Heat Outscoring Them 39-14 in Third Quarter: 'I've got to lead better, I've got to play better in those moments, and I'm just looking forward to responding'

What Stood Out from Celtics' Loss in Game 1 of Eastern Conference Finals: Heat Seize Control with Third-Quarter Haymaker

Marcus Smart (Right Mid-Foot Sprain), Al Horford (Health and Safety Protocols) Out for Game 1 vs. Heat

A More Mature Celtics Team Ready for Familiar Challenges from Heat in 2020 Eastern Conference Finals Rematch

Robert Williams Available Without Minutes Restriction for Celtics-Heat Eastern Conference Finals

Celtics Discuss Bouncing Back From 3-2 Deficit to Get by Bucks: 'I think it will boost our confidence going forward'