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The Miami Heat Use Big Third Quarter To Take Game 1 Against the Celtics

Heat outscore the Celtics 39-14 to take control of game

 For a half, the Miami Heat looked rusty after having a few days off before the start of the Eastern Conference finals. 

They finally got things going in third quarter by outscoring the Boston Celtics by 25 on the way to a 118-107 victory Tuesday in Game 1 at FTX Arena. Jimmy Butler finished with 41 points, nine rebounds and five assists in 41 minutes. 

The Heat trailed by many as 13 in the first half while being forced to make a pregame adjustment. The Heat learned a few hours before tipoff the Celtics were playing without starters Al Horford (health and safety protocols) and Marcus Smart (foot). The Heat said the late scratches had no effect on their preparation. 

"I feel like this is the world we've been living in for a long time, and certainly this year every team has had a lot of experience with this," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "This has become kind of the normal prep, and expect the unexpected. We just have to focus on bringing our best version tonight, and it's the Playoffs, so you're going to get just great competition."

Game 2 is Thursday in Miami.

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