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May 22, 2022 | 6:33 am EDT Update

Heat take 2-1 series lead over Celtics

The Miami Heat took their Game 2 loss to the Boston Celtics personally. That was the message coming out of a proud Heat locker room after a gutsy 109-103 win on Saturday night that gave them a 2-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference finals. After getting embarrassed throughout a lackluster Game 2 performance in which the group never found its rhythm on either end of the floor, the Heat started Saturday’s game with the type of edge on both sides of the floor that has defined their season. “They beat us like we stole something in Game 2,” Heat center Bam Adebayo said. “So that woke a fire up in all of us.”
A former G League player who made a huge difference on Saturday was Max Strus. The 25-year-old guard hit the biggest shot of the night when he nailed a 3-pointer with 2:16 left in the game that gave the Heat, who had been clinging to a 93-92 lead, the dagger they needed to close out the Celtics. As Strus explained, it was actually Lowry who set up the final sequence. “In the timeout, Kyle said, let’s run a pindown for Max,” Strus said. “Let’s get him open. So when he said that, I had all the confidence in the world to step up and make a shot.”