Miami was warming up in the first quarter of its Game 3 win over the Boston Celtics, scoring 39 points as it took a 2-1 lead.
Game 4 went a all other way. Instead of catching fire, the Heat went icy cold to drop just 11 points to an all-time low and failed to recover, losing 102-82.
The Celtics were without guard Marcus Smart (ankle) while the Heat missed Tyler Herro (strained left groin).
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Jayson Tatum (31 points) led the way for Boston, although all starters outscored Miami’s 73-18.
Victor Oladipo was the heat’s best with 23 points to go, with six assists and rebounds.
In fact, Oladipo became the first banker to surpass his own entire starting lineup (18) since such numbers were first tracked by ESPN in the 1970-71 season.
Miami’s 11 points were the fewest first-quarter points in franchise playoff history, after shooting 3-for-20 (15.8 percent) from the floor.
Tatum defeated Miami by 12 points, while Derrick White was an unlikely hero by 10.
White had only three runs in the first two games of the series, but exploded with Boston’s first seven of Game 4 as Miami went 0-for-7 in the opening four minutes of the field.
Bam Adebayo finally broke the drought for Miami with a free throw in the fourth minute, although Boston reacted immediately when Williams lobbed in Al Horford.
Miami’s shooting problems didn’t get any better, he missed all eight field goals after five minutes when Boston coach Ime Udoka called a timeout with his side leading 12-1.
That timeout did nothing to halt Boston’s momentum, with Miami’s attack failing as Tatum busted out six points within a minute, including a savage dunk.
Victor Oladipo eventually cleared a three-pointer and scored Miami’s first field goal of the game with just over three minutes left.
Until then, the Heat had gone 0-for-14 off the field, missing Herro’s energy and ability to come in and make his own shots.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, it was the longest drought in the past 25 years without a field goal to start a playoff game.
The Heat seemed almost destined for another unwanted piece of history, close to scoring the fewest points in the NBA Playoffs in the first quarter.
The Celtics (seven points) will still hold that record after a pair of free throws from Oladipo and a Jimmy Butler bucket that brought Miami to 11 points at the end of the quarter.
Oladipo was one of the few bright spots early on for the Heat and continued that into the second quarter by scoring their first six points.
At that point, the Heat had it back to 34-18, with Oladipo scoring 13 of Miami’s points.
However, Tatum was in good spirits, scoring four points in 40 seconds before assisting a layup from Jaylen Brown to put Boston back at 40-21 on a three-pointer from Caleb Martin.
Tatum was in complete control as the Celtics extended their lead to 48-23, added four points and then an assist for a white three-pointer.
“It’s shocking and disappointing,” Mark Jackson said in the second half of… ESPNs coverage.
“The Miami Heat thrives on working you out and competing on another level. If they don’t bring that kind of energy, it beats them.”
“I’m short of words,” added Mike Breen.
Tatum finished the half with 24 points, seven rebounds and three assists, while Oladipo (18) was the only Heat player to score more than six points.
Butler had nine points, while PJ Tucker, Max Strus and Gabe Vincent had combined 0-for-13 from the floor.
In another key difference between the two sides, Boston was able to reach the free-throw line 26 times (21 of them) in the first half compared to just nine (six made) for Miami.
Miami was unable to get much closer in the third or fourth quarter, although Boston in a bizarre move kept the majority of the starters out to open the fourth.
The Heat did come within 18 points of the Celtics, but at that point it was far too late, with the score tied at 2-2.
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