Miami Heat of America youngster, Bam Adebayo got back into top headlines with a massive impact that helped his side edge ahead in Game 1 of USA’s National Basketball Association (NBA) Eastern Conference final at the expense of Boston Celtics, megasportsarena.com reports.
With the game seemingly going against The Heat at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, it took a mighty and massive block from Adebayo to deny a potentially game-winning dunk from Jayson Tatum, and Miami did just enough to secure a thrilling 117-114 overtime win over Boston Celtic.
Although The Celtics went on a couple of runs at the start and end of regular time, neither side looked definitively superior to the other as both teams matched each other on both sides of the court.
The result came down to the wire twice – once when Tatum missed a game-winning three at the end of regulation and again when he was stuffed at the rim by Adebayo in the dying seconds of overtime, while Goran Dragic led the way for Miami with 29 points.
It was a majestic spectacle to behold, as Adebayo and Jimmy Butler made clutch plays and Tatum finished with 30 points, as Dragic led The Heat with 29 points and seven rebounds, Jae Crowder added 22 and sunk five three-pointers.
Butler scored 20 for the Heat, who won for the ninth time in 10 playoff games. Adebayo had 18 points and nine assists, and Tyler Herro fell an assist shy of a triple-double (12 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists).
Butler fought through traffic for the game-winning bucket with 12 seconds remaining in the extra session, drawing a foul on the play and making the ‘And 1’ free throw to put the Heat up 116-114.
Adebayo blocked Jayson Tatum’s attempt to tie the score with 3.7 seconds remaining then made 1-of-2 at the free throw line, Tatum missed on a three-point attempt as time expired to seal the result.
Tatum had a game-high 30 points with 14 rebounds, Marcus Smart scored 26 and Kemba Walker had 19 for the Celtics. Walker put Boston up 114-113 on a step-back bucket with 23.6 seconds left in overtime.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series takes place late on Thursday, ahead of which Tatum eulogised Adebayo, adding: “He made a great play. That’s all it is. He made a good play, can’t do anything about it. That sealed the game for us. [Adebayo is] a huge part to why we are winning – I’ve been saying it all year long, and I’ll repeat it again.”