Heat-Celtics game postponed by NBA due to virus protocols
(AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)Boston was going to have to face Miami with the NBA minimum of eight players on Sunday night. The Heat learned earlier Sunday that guard Avery Bradley would not be available for the game in Boston because of the COVID-19 protocols. But it's hardly been uncommon for NBA players to miss games this season over virus-related issues, without the safety of the bubble. In Brooklyn, Kevin Durant returned to the Nets on Sunday night after missing three games because of the virus protocols. You can try your best and unfortunately there will still be some people that catch it.”The Heat-Celtics game is the second postponed in the NBA this season.
Celtics would be without Tatum, Brown for coronavirus rules
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) drives against Washington Wizards' Davis Bertans and center Moritz Wagner (21) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)BOSTON – The Boston Celtics could be without stars Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and a number of other players because of coronavirus safety protocols when they face Miami on Sunday. The Celtics are listing Tatum as doubtful and Brown as questionable for the rematch of the Eastern Conference finals. With Kemba Walker and Romeo Langford unavailable because of injuries, the Celtics could have the minimum eight players required to start a game. Beset by its own coronavirus problems, Philadelphia dressed an injured player Saturday so it could field a team to play against Denver.
Pritchard's putback pushes Celtics past Heat, 107-105
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) drives to the basket as Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Miami. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)MIAMI – Payton Pritchard wasn't there last season when the Boston Celtics lost to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals. Pritchard's putback with two-tenths of a second left capped a wild finish, and the Celtics beat the Heat 107-105 in the first matchup this season of last year's East finalists. Jimmy Butler had 26 points for Miami, which got 16 points from Duncan Robinson, 15 points from Bam Adebayo and 14 from Goran Dragic. The Heat cut the lead to eight by halftime, part of what became a 39-17 run that saw Miami lead by five in the third quarter.
Back to the Finals: Heat oust Celtics, move to title series
The Heat are going to the NBA Finals — surprising many, perhaps, but not themselves. Extremely well-coached and well-put together and we are just honored to be a part of that type of series in the conference finals, and then we get an opportunity for the next stage. The Heat won the series 4-2 — and now, waiting on that next stage to decide the NBA title, are LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Celtics scored 10 of the first 12 points of the fourth, going up 96-90. Heat: The Heat are now guaranteed no less than $4,399,686 for their playoff share, and that number would rise to $5,791,041 if they win the title.
Back to work: Celtics, Heat start getting ready for Game 4
That lead is down to 2-1 now, the Celtics playing brilliantly in Game 3 and leading wire-to-wire to take a bunch of newfound momentum into Game 4 of the series on Wednesday night. “Our spirit is right, our head is right, our energy is there, so I think we’re responding the right way,” Miami wing Jae Crowder said. But it’s Miami still leading the series, which is why the Celtics are seeking to show up for Game 4 with the same aggression that carried them in Game 3. “We know we’re going to have to play the best game that we’ve played in Game 4 of this series to have a chance to win. That’s just the way series work.
Celtics oust Raptors in Game 7, head to East finals vs. Heat
Tatum scored 29 points, Jaylen Brown had 21 and the Celtics topped the Toronto Raptors 92-87 on Friday night in Game 7 of the East semifinal series. The Raptors were bidding to become the seventh franchise in NBA history to win four consecutive Game 7's. Boston pushed the lead to nine, Toronto scored the next eight, eventually took the lead before the Celtics claimed it back. Raptors: Toronto was eliminated 456 days after winning the preceding season’s title, obviously the longest such run for a team that didn’t win consecutive championships. 2 seed in the East will make the conference finals since the NBA went to the 16-team playoff format in 1984; this one will feature No.
A 2nd day of NBA playoff games halted over racial injustice
And other athletes across the sports world also said they weren't ready to resume playing. A second night of WNBA games were postponed and other teams and sports pondered whether they would play on. This is a affirmatively day of reflection, a day of informed action and mobilization, WNBA players union president Nneka Ogwumike said on ESPN. NBA players agreed to resume their season in July at Disney, making clear they intended to chase social justice reform just as passionately as a championship. They ultimately decided that playing would give them the largest platform while also providing a bigger target for critics.