The Miami Heat cruised ahead with 26 -points lead over the Boston Celtic in Game 3 on Saturday night to ensure a 109-103 victory at TD Garden. The game saw Jimmy Butler ruled out of the game with knee inflammation, but Boston could not cash in from the absence of Butler as Bam Adebayo finished the win with a team-high 31-points to go along with ten rebounds, six assists and four steals.
The injury driven match saw players like Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum and Jimmy Buttler all make their way to the locker room at various points. While Buttler could not make his comeback in the second half due to knee inflammation, Smart and Tatum returned to the game despite going through more severe injuries. Tatum got a stinger during a scramble for a loose ball and stayed down for a few minutes in severe pain.
In the second quarter, Smart suffered a nasty-looking ankle sprain that was made worse when Lowry inadvertently rolled over his leg. The Celtics guard needed help to the Celtics’ locker room by the training staff after suffering a severe collision with Kyle Lowry. But Smart made an astonishing comeback on the court soon afterwards, to the delight of the TD Garden crowd. As he jogged back from the locker room, Celtic fans erupted in joy and haled the player for his courageous decision.
Smart wasted no time in making an impact in the game, as he hit a 3-pointer to cut the Celtic’s deficit to 10 points on his first shot back in the game. Boston’s starting point guard had also missed Game 1 of the series due to bruised foot. He scored seven points and made three assists before leaving out the game in the early minutes of the third quarter. But he was back for the Celtics soon afterwards.