Rapid Recap: Celtics back in the series with Game 3 win, 117-106

© Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Rapid Recap: Celtics back in the series with Game 3 win, 117-106

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Rapid Recap: Celtics back in the series with Game 3 win, 117-106

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Rapid Recap is designed for the busiest of Celtics fans. Whether you can’t stay awake to read 10 paragraphs or your hangover is just too much, Rapid Recap tells the timeline of the game in only a minute or two.

With their season essentially on the line, the Celtics stayed alive, cutting Miami’s series lead to 2-1 with a 117-106 victory over the Heat in Game 3.

The Celtics dominated the first 44 minutes, but the last 4 were scary as Miami slashed a 20-point deficit to just 5 before the Cs regained control. No worries, the Celts actually led for the entire 48 minutes, and even won the third quarter (!).

The keys: Boston’s defense was sensational; ball movement yielded 27 assists on 41 baskets; Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart combined for 92 points, and Gordon Hayward returned from his sprained his ankle and – as expected – helped the Celtics handle the Heat’s zone defense.

The Celtics made 7 of their first 10 shots while attacking the rim often, and at the first timeout led 16-9.

Cs also attacked a weak link.

Hayward checked in after 7 minutes and immediately…

In-game breaking news:

Ball movement: check.

Quarter ended with 9 assists on 13 baskets.

Second quarter, the refs made an appearance, and the Celtics got hosed yet again. A clear Heat foul was not called, leading to the three. Refs compounded the error by hitting Tatum with a technical.

Tatum had a response.

Miami got within 51-48 before the Celtics had a 9-0 run, including three straight hoops on breakaways off steals.

Tyler Herro was on fire, dropping 16 points in the second, but The Jays kept the Celtics in control.

Update to the halftime score:

Hayward report:

Were they ready for the third quarter?

This time, they were.

Daniel Theis picked up foul no. 4 early in the quarter, so Grant Williams came in and immediately scored 5 points as the lead grew to 18.

There was no let-up.

There was a lot of tension on Twitter because of the Celtics’ many disastrous third quarters, but the Green held a 19-point lead with 4:19 remaining. And then Miami went on an 11-1 run, helped by the Celtics missing a couple of layups. Nervous moments.

But Boston bounced back with 7 in a row, and won the quarter, 26-24.

When Hayward and Tatum swished triples in the early fourth, the lead was back to 19.

Keeping the pressure on.

Miami caught fire late.

The Heat were helped by a flagrant foul called on Jaylen, when Duncan Robinson stuck his face into JB’s space and caught an accidental elbow. But it wasn’t enough.

Kemba to the rescue.

The defense held Miami to 38.8% shooting and 27.3% on threes. The Celts also crushed points in the paint, 60 to 36. And Smart was 8 for 8 at the line in the final minute to foil the Heat’s intentional fouling.

Box score

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