Adebayo takes defensive stand, Heat edge Celtics in thrilling series opener

Published September 16, 2020, 10:32 AM

by Agence France-Presse

Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat blocks a dunk attempt in the game against Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics in Game one of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2020 Playoffs as part of the NBA Restart 2020 on September 15, 2020 at The Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. Copyright 2020 NBAE Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images/AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Bam Adebayo made a clutch block with 2.5 seconds left in overtime as the Miami Heat beat the Boston Celtics 117-114 in the opening game of their Eastern Conference final on Tuesday.

Adebayo leaped high to take what appeared to be an easy dunk away from Celtics star Jayson Tatum to preserve the Heat’s slim lead, 116-114. Adebayo then capped the scoring by sinking a free throw at the other end.

Tatum, who finished with a game high 30 points, missed a desperation 29-foot three pointer at the buzzer in the NBA’s quarantine bubble in Orlando, Florida.

Game two is Thursday night in Orlando.

Goran Dragic scored 29 points, Jae Crowder had 22 and Jimmy Butler finished with 20 for the Heat, who eliminated the Celtics from the playoffs in 2011 and 2012.

Miami are seeking to get back to the NBA finals for the first time since a four-year run of consecutive appearances during the LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh era ended in 2014.

Tatum also had 14 rebounds and five assists, Marcus Smart tallied 26 points and Jaylen Brown delivered 17 for the Celtics who are in the league semi-finals for the third time in four years.