The Miami Heat were able to grind out a big win over the Boston Celtics on January 24. Miami battled back from a double digit hole in the final frame, piecing together a 15-0 run to fuel the comeback. The Heat walked away with a 98-95 victory over the reigning Eastern Conference champs, which marked their 15th win in their last 22 games.
A driving force behind Miami’s late surge was star center Bam Adebayo. Adebayo put together a dominant performance against Boston, scoring 30 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. He even knocked down the eventual game-winning shot with under 30 seconds left to play.
After the game, the big man was asked if he was motivated by the game being broadcasted on national television. The 25-year-old replied by citing the rivalry between Miami and Boston as his motivation for showing out.
“No, it was the rivalry,” Adebayo explained via Brendan Tobin. “They booted us from the Eastern Conference Finals last year. So, I feel like a lot of guys on our team carried that.”
Bam Adebayo on if making an All Star statement on national television was on his mind: No, it was the rivalry. They booted us from the Eastern Conference Finals last year. pic.twitter.com/BUfPA9bZrO
— Brendan Tobin (@Brendan_Tobin) January 25, 2023
It’s clear that the players haven’t forgotten the hard-fought series against the Celtics. After losing Game 7 at the then FTX Arena, the Heat watched the visitors lift the trophy and celebrate on their home floor.
Celtics’ Mazzulla Sends Strong Message About Heat Comeback
While Adebayo may have had some things to say about the Celtics, Boston’s Interim Head Coach Joe Mazzulla had thoughts of his own.
Mazzulla touched on the Heat’s poise down the stretch and their ability to convert on important possessions.
”It was just two good teams out there playing,” Mazzulla said via NBC Sports Boston. ”They made a few more plays at the end than we did.”
Joe Mazzulla talks issues with execution late in the game vs. Miami pic.twitter.com/wtzZvicTNd
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) January 25, 2023
Boston’s coach how the opposing zone defense changed the game in the closing minutes.
“They went to their zone and we didn’t have the spacing we needed,” he explained. “We didn’t get the looks we should have. I thought we had the right personnel on the floor, …read more