Celtics Stay Alive in Eastern Conference Finals With 116-99 Win Over Miami in Game 4

Jayson Tatum with the Boston Celtics
Jayson Tatum with the Boston Celtics. Image by Erik Drost/Wikipedia

The Boston Celtics are still in it. Facing the possibility of getting swept by the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Celtics rallied to a 116-99 win in Game 4 on Tuesday night and extended their postseason run for at least one more game.

The Celtics were led to the victory by their All-Star forward Jayson Tatum, who had 33 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists. Jaylen Brown added 17 points, and four more Boston players scored in double digits.

Boston showed remarkable resilience in Game 4. They had a sluggish first half and entered the third quarter down by nine. However, the Celtics refused to quit, embarking on an 18-0 run to take control of the game. Then they did enough to stop Miami from embarking on another of their signature fourth-quarter comebacks.

While the Celtics get to live another day, they will have to do something no one has ever done to reach the NBA Finals. No team in NBA playoffs history managed to win a series after facing a 3-0 deficit.

“We don’t really have a choice,” said the Celtics’ head coach Joe Mazzulla said. “It’s do-or-die. Got to stick together.”

What gives the Celtics some hope is that teams down 3-0 managed to tie the series three times before losing Game 7. New York Knicks did it against Rochester Royals (modern-day Sacramento Kings) in the 1951 NBA Finals, Denver Nuggets did it against the Utah Jazz in the 1994 Western Conference Second Round, and the Portland Trail Blazers did it against the Dallas Mavericks in the 2003 Western Conference First Round.

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