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Celtics 'embarrass' Heat to even Eastern Conference finals

Celtics 'embarrass' Heat to even Eastern Conference finals
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum scored 17 of his 27 points in the second quarter of a playoff win over the Miami Heat on Thursday in Miami. Photo by Rhona Wise/EPA-EFE

MIAMI, May 19 (UPI) -- Jayson Tatum scored 27 points in three quarters and the Boston Celtics made 20 3-pointers in a thrashing of the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals Thursday at FTX Arena.

The 127-102 road victory evened the best-of-seven game series 1-1. Game 3 will be Saturday in Boston.

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Celtics guards Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart scored 24 points apiece in the victory. The Celtics led by as many as 34 points and totaled 28 assists in the blowout.

"It was about coming out and being aggressive as I could," Smart told reporters. "We are playing against a really good Miami team. If you make mistakes, they make you pay for it."

"They were more physical overall and they got one on the road," Heat forward Jimmy Butler told reporters.

"They tried to embarrass us and they did."

Heat forward P.J. Tucker scored five unanswered points to start the game. The Heat later added a 13-3 run. The Celtics immediately answered with a 24-3 run, took a 35-24 edge into the second quarter and never looked back.

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Celtics guard Jaylen Brown scored 11 points over the first 12 minutes. The Celtics made nine 3-pointers in the first quarter.

The Celtics poured it on in the second, outscoring the Heat 35-21 in the frame to take a 25-point lead into halftime. Tatum scored 17 points in the second quarter.

The Celtics and Heat each scored 26 points in the third and 31 points in the fourth to keep the halftime margin.

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"It wasn't a matter of us not wanting or us not on edge. We really got outplayed," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "That's what shot-making can do."

Smart made a team-high five 3-pointers, dished out 12 assists and pulled down nine rebounds, in addition to his two dozen points.

Grant Williams scored 19 off the Celtics bench. Al Horford and Payton Prichard scored 10 points apiece for the

Butler scored a game-high 29, with 16 points in the third quarter of the loss. Heat guard Gabe Vincent chipped in 14 points.

"We didn't get off to our best start, but fought right back into it," Celtics coach Ime Udoka said. "We held them down scoring-wise. It was a good bounce back."

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Game 3 of the series will tip off at 8:30 p.m. EDT Saturday in Boston. Game 4 will be Monday at TD Garden.

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