Jayson Tatum raked in 33 points and 11 rebounds as the visiting Boston Celtics avoided elimination with a 116-99 win over the Miami Heat on Tuesday in game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Tatum took 14 of 22 shots from the ground — including 4 of 8 from 3-pointers. He also has seven assists for the second-seeded Celtics, who took a 3-1 lead in a best-of-seven series to head into Game 5 Thursday in Boston.
Jaylen Brown scored 17 and Derrick White added 16 to help the Celtics prevent Miami from becoming the second eighth-seeded team to advance to the NBA Finals. The New York Knicks 1998-99 achieved the feat in a shortened season.
Grant Williams scored 14 points as a substitute and Al Horford added 12 points and 7 rebounds for the Celtics, who turned the game around by beating the Heat 38-23 in the third round.
Boston hit 51.2% from the floor (43 of 84) in the game and 40.9% from 3-pointers (18 of 44).
Miami’s Jimmy Butler overcame a slow start to score 29 points and 9 rebounds. Gabe Vincent scored 17 points and Caleb Martin added 16 points as a substitute for the Heat, who fell 6-1 at home in the knockout stages.
Dropped by 11 points at the end of the third quarter, Miami reduced its deficit to five points before Boston countered by scoring 12 straight points to take a 100-83 lead with 7:25 to play in the fourth inning. Tatum and Marcus Smart each had five points in that bull run.
Heat moved in round 13 with 4:27 to play before Brown switched the three-point play to stop momentum. The Celtics were not seriously threatened for the rest of the run.
Max Strus sank a 3-pointer to give Miami a 61-52 lead early in the third inning before Boston ignited an 18-0 run. Tatum converted twice from outside the arc and added a jumper in that sequence.
The Heat lasted for 81-77 before Tatum made a jump and a tumble and Williams sank his fourth 3-pointer of the night.
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