The Boston Celtics are now 3-1 behind the Miami Heat after Game 4 in the Eastern Conference finals, a deficit only rookies would believe could be overcome. However, Marcus Smart of the Celtics imparted some trash talk ahead of the game, reminding the Heat never to let Boston get one up on them. But he and his team followed through with their words, securing an impressive 116-99 victory over Miami in Game 4. The Celtics now have three more wins to go to make NBA history.
Game 4 was a much different story compared to the previous games, where Boston fell short in crucial moments. It was a test of the Celtics’ poise and trust in each other, and Boston was able to respond to every challenging situation presented to them in the game. When faced with a nine-point deficit after Caleb Martin’s three-pointer in the first quarter, Boston went on a 17-5 run. After Max Strus’s three-pointer in the second half, they went on an 18-0 run. Finally, an early timeout in the fourth quarter gave Boston the chance to put the game away for good, starting with Jayson Tatum’s basket to begin a 12-0 run.
Part of the reason behind Boston’s success in Game 4 was the team’s conversations before the game following their demoralizing loss in Game 3. They talked about staying together despite being down 3-0, and it showed in their defense and the right plays they made. They also emphasized the importance of knocking down shots, a weakness they had in the first three games. Tatum, in particular, went 11-for-15 from the field in the second half and helped the team outscore Miami 38-23 in the third quarter.
The Celtics still have a long way to go to make history, but they can take this victory as a much-needed confidence boost. As they head back to Boston for Game 5, they will need to continue to build each other up and believe in their abilities to turn the series around. The Heat will undoubtedly come out stronger in the next game, so Boston will need to match that intensity. Boston’s Jaylen Brown was proud of the team’s efforts in Game 4 and emphasized the importance of sticking together, making the right plays, and coming back to Miami for Game 7.