KEY POINTS

  • The Miami Heat were thoroughly outplayed in their Game 4 defeat to the Boston Celtics
  • Erik Spoelstra was critical of his team's performance, especially in the first quarter
  • Game 5 takes place on Wednesday, May 25 

The Miami Heat simply did not look like themselves as they dropped Game 4 with ease to the Boston Celtics who were firing on all cylinders, 102-82.

Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra just could not find the magic combination to climb back out of the 29-11 hole they dug themselves in to end the first quarter.“I think, probably more than anything, our offense really hurt us at the beginning. We just weren’t getting the kind of purposeful execution that you need on the road. They jumped out to that lead and that was the story for the rest of the game,” Spoelstra told the press after the game.

Boston benefitted greatly from the hot hands of Jayson Tatum and fill-in starter Derrick White, who combined for 22 of their 29 points in the first frame.

Despite not having Marcus Smart due to a right ankle sprain, the well-oiled Celtics machine led from wire to wire as they tied the series at two apiece.

For the Heat, the absence of scoring threat Tyler Herro because of a left groin strain left them looking clueless on offense as they made their first field goal off a Victor Oladipo three with 3:22 left in the opening quarter.

“We’re built to really flourish together and utilize all of our men, all of our weapons. Certainly Jimmy [Butler], Bam [Adebayo], Kyle [Lowry] and Tyler. They drive a lot of those first triggers, but we did a lot of things poorly,” Spoelstra added.

Most games in the series, other than Game 3, saw both sides take a victory by at least more than 10 points, which speaks to the ability of both teams to get hot on offense while also lacking greatly in the defense department.

The Heat did not help themselves at all by allowing the Celtics to get 38 trips to the free-throw line, a large disparity from their 14 attempts.

Spoelstra himself knows a thing or two about bouncing back from tough losses throughout his 14-year career as Miami’s head coach.

“We just got outplayed tonight. You just have to stay the course, stay together. What you’re looking at is a great series, it’s 2-2. We have to embrace that and come together,” he said of their plans for the rest of the series.

The pivotal Game 5 will take place on the Heat’s home floor on Wednesday, May 25 with the tip-off slated for 8:30 PM ET.

Miami Heat (L-R) Kyle Lowry #7, Jimmy Butler #22, Udonis Haslem #40 and P.J. Tucker #17 of the Miami Heat react from the bench against the Boston Celtics during the fourth quarter in Game Four of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 23, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo: Elsa/Getty Images