Celtics look to complete historic comeback vs. Heat on TSN
The Boston Celtics look to complete one of the greatest playoff comebacks in NBA history and become the first team to overcome a 3-0 deficit as they host the Miami Heat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday night.
The Heat shocked the No. 2 seeded Celtics early in the series by jumping out to a 3-0 lead, including a 128-102 dismantling of Boston in Game 3 in Miami.
Since that loss, the Celtics have completely turned the tide of the series, holding the No. 8 seeded Heat to under 100 points in each of their Game 4 and 5 victories. The Heat were three seconds from moving onto the NBA Finals in Game 6 before Derrick White’s miraculous last-second tip-in gave Boston a 104-103 win, forcing Monday’s Game 7.
No team has ever come back to win a series from an 0-3 series deficit in NBA history. 151 teams have gone down 3-0 and only four (including the 2023 Celtics) have forced a Game 7. The Celtics are the first to host a Game 7 after being down 0-3 as the 1951 New York Knicks, the 1994 Denver Nuggets, and the 2003 Portland Trail Blazers all lost Game 7 on the road.
“We’ve got another chance, another opportunity,” said Celtics forward Jayson Tatum. “It’s far from over. Still an uphill battle. But it always feels good to give yourself another chance, another opportunity.”
The Celtics have won each of their past five Game 7’s, including a 112-88 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in this year’s Eastern Conference semifinals.
Boston is just 5-5 at home in this year's playoffs, but forward Jaylen Brown says he is looking forward to feeling the energy of the crowd at TD Garden.
“It’s going to be huge. The best two words in sports is ‘Game 7,’” Brown said. “And our home crowd, I know they’re going to bring the energy. So, I’m excited.”
Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler struggled from the floor in Game 6, shooting just 5-of-21 but finished with 24 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists. The star forward has struggled over the past three games, shooting a combined 19-of-55 from the field.
“You’re going to get the same test until you pass it, I swear,” Butler said. “We were in this same position last year. We can do it. I know that we will do it. We’ve got to go on the road and win in a very, very, very tough environment.
"Everything that happened tonight, if I don't go 5-for-21 and turn the ball over and all of this good stuff, it's a different story," he said. "I've got on a different hat up here and we're getting ready to go to the Finals."
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says his team can still win the series and advance to their second NBA Finals in the past four seasons.
"This is the way this season has been," Spoelstra said. "This is one hell of a series. At this time right now, I don't know how we are going to get this done, but we are going up there and get it done. And that's what the next 48 hours is about."
The Denver Nuggets, who advanced to their first NBA Finals with a sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, will host Game 1 of the Finals on Thursday.