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The Boston Celtics were back in the driver’s seat Race 2 after a bad blow in Race 1 against the Miami Heat. Marcus Smart played an important role in Thursday night’s victory.
Smart had 24 points after missing Race 1 with a foot injury. He was 8 of 22 from the ground and 5 of 12 from three points. He had 12 assists, nine rebounds and three steals Boston demolished Miami 127-102.
Boston drew the series 1-1.
“I was elated,” Smart told ESPN’s Lisa Salters when asked how excited he was to be back on the pitch following his foot injury. “I was sorry I couldn’t be out there with my teammates and go fight with them. We’re playing against a very good Miami Heat team. It’s a blessing to be on the same pitch with them. We’ll do it was but it’s hard not to. be out there.
“But I had to rest, get back to health, look and see some things and I had to perform in this game.”
Al Horford also returned for Boston after missing Game 1 for being included in the NBA’s health and safety protocols. He had 10 points, three rebounds and three assists.
Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 27 points, five rebounds and five assists. Jaylen Brown added 24 points with eight rebounds and three assists.
The Boston defense held off Filming in Miami for the most part. The Heat shot 44% from the ground but only 29.4% from long range. The Heat also had 14 turnovers in the game.
Jimmy Butler led the way with 29 points, nine rebounds and two assists. Gabe Vincent added 14 points, three rebounds and three assists.
Game 3 will be played on Saturday in Boston. Smart said that after the win Boston must prepare in the same way they prepared for Miami in the first two games.
“In the same way we prepared,” he said. “We expect. We have two physical teams. You have Team # 1 and Team # 2 working on it. It is grinding. We know what it will take. We know they are coming to our house and they. We are trying to get a win and we must protect the home field. “