Adebayo stars for Heat in win over Celtics

Adebayo stars for Heat in win over Celtics

Bam Adebayo scored 31 points to help the Miami Heat win the Boston Celtics 109-103 in the Eastern Conference play-off final, giving his team a 2-1 lead.

For his team, Adebayo also had 10 rebounds, six assists, and four steals.

The Celtics, who trailed by 26 points at one point, came to within a point late in the game, 93-92, but the Heat held on for a road victory.

“I had to pick up my weight. These last couple games, my team was depending on me and I didn’t show up,” said Adebayo.

“I took it upon myself to lock in and get the win.”

Adebayo top scored for his side and his star performance was needed by the Heat, who were without the influential Jimmy Butler for the second half because of a knee inflammation.

“He’s a winning player,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of Adebayo. “He really is the heart and soul of our group. You can count on him all the time.

“He doesn’t get caught up in all the noise. He’s just out there competing and playing winning basketball, doing it on both ends.”

The Celtics committed 23 turnovers which led to 33 points for the Heat, who had eight turnovers.

Star player Jayson Tatum could only manage 10 points for the home side, with Jaylen Brown top scoring for them with 40 points.

“Unacceptable. I’ve got to play better,” said Tatum. “I feel like I left the guys hanging tonight. That’s on me.”

Boston coach Ime Udoka added: “We didn’t match [their physicality] from the start.

“We got into complaining and let it take us out of our game. It’s disappointing to come out that flat in a conference finals game.”

Game four of the best-of-seven series is on Monday (01:30 BST Tuesday) in Boston.

In the Western Conference finals, the Golden States Warriors are 2-0 up against the Dallas Mavericks and play the third match of their series on Sunday (02:00 BST Monday).