Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler totaled 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists in a playoff win over the Boston Celtics on Sunday in Miami. Photo by Rhona Wise/EPA-EFE
MIAMI, May 21 (UPI) -- The No. 8 Miami Heat moved to within one win of clinching a spot in the NBA Finals with a Game 3 blowout of the No. 2 Boston Celtics on Sunday in Miami.
"That was a solid, mature, professional approach," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said at his postgame news conference after the 128-102 win at the Kaseya Center.
"We are getting closer, but we still have to finish this off."
Celtics stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum combined for just 26 points on 12 of 35 shooting. Point guard Gabe Vincent scored a career-high 29 points for the Heat. He made six 3-pointers.
"We are just playing good basketball at the best time," Vincent said of the Heat.
Game 4 of the best of seven Eastern Conference finals series will be Tuesday in Miami.
Heat forward Duncan Robinson scored 22 points off the bench. He made five 3-pointers. Heat forwards Caleb Martin and Jimmy Butler scored 18 and 16 points, respectively.
The Heat outscored the Celtics 55-51 off the bench and outshot the Celtics 56.8% to 39.8%. The Celtics made just 11 of 42 3-point attempts. The Heat hit 19 of 35 shots from downtown.
The Celtics started the first quarter on a 9-3 run. The Heat then outscored the Celtics 16-6 over final five minutes of the quarter to carry a 30-22 edge into the second and never trailed again.
The Heat darted out to a 19-6 run in the second and carried a 61-46 edge into halftime. Robinson scored 10 points in the second quarter.
The Heat opened the second half with a 13-5 run and pushed the lead to 33. They outscored the Celtics 32-17 in the third quarter to carry a 93-63 edge into the fourth.
Both teams emptied their benches in the fourth quarter, as the Heat lead ballooned. The Celtics outscored the Heat 39-35 over the final 12 minutes.
Game 4 will tip off at 8:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday in Miami. Game 5, if necessary, will be Thursday in Boston.