The Heat, just the second eighth seed to reach the championship round, nearly blew a 3-0 series lead against the Celtics.
The Miami Heat will head out to Denver, where a very well-rested Nuggets team awaits, for the NBA Finals after blowing the doors off of the Celtics in Boston, 103-84, on Monday night in a stunning Game 7 performance.
It took 26 seconds for the Celtics to see disaster strike, as Jayson Tatum rolled his left ankle on the first possession of the game when he landed on Gabe Vincent’s foot on a floater while drawing a foul. Tatum would stay in the game, but was clearly not right as he could not move laterally and lacked much of any burst on the offensive end, scoring just 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting.
The Celtics, meanwhile, continued their horrific shooting from long range, missing their first 11 three-point attempts and finishing the night 9-of-42 (one game after winning despite a 7-of-35 effort).
Overall, Miami shot 48.8 percent from the field and 50 percent from three on the night, as they just continue to get incredible efforts from the likes of Martin, Duncan Robinson, Gabe Vincent, and the rest of their rotation.
Miami will now face a very different test in the Denver Nuggets, where Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray have looked unstoppable offensively through three rounds, but if they keep shooting the way they have this postseason, they’ll have a real chance at another shocking upset.
For Boston, the season comes to an end with a thud, as for the second time this series in a crucial spot they laid an egg. Scoring 84 in a Game 7 at home, even factoring in the Tatum injury, is an abysmal effort and this summer will be very interesting as there could be some changes on the horizon for a team that’s been one of the East’s most consistent performers — but only has one Finals appearance to show for it.