NBA Conference Finals

Herro ball: Rookie lifts Heat to 3-1 lead over Celtics

Delfin Dioquino
Herro ball: Rookie lifts Heat to 3-1 lead over Celtics

Tyler Herro. Photo from Twitter/@nbastats

Heat rookie Tyler Herro becomes only the fourth player in NBA history to score at least 30 points in a playoff game at age 20 or younger

Tyler Herro put on a scoring clinic uncommon for a 20-year-old in a playoff game as the Miami Heat moved on the cusp of reaching the NBA Finals.

Herro dropped 37 points to power the Heat to a 112-109 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday, September 23 (Thursday, September 24, Manila time).

The rookie, who finished with a 14-of-21 shooting, came off the bench and hit timely buckets down the stretch as the Heat seized a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven affair.

Herro became only the fourth player in NBA history to score at least 30 points in a playoff game at age 20 or younger, joining Magic Johnson (1980), Derrick Rose (2009), and Brandon Jennings (2010).

The Celtics gave the Heat a run for their own money late, but Herro always came through.

Herro put the Heat up 107-98 with a layup with a minute left and sank two clutch free throws with 13.9 ticks remaining for a 109-104 advantage – a lead that proved enough to stave off the Celtics.

“It is a good win for us. I feel good we are up 3-1 but we still have a lot of work to do,” Herro said. “We put a lot of effort into preparing for Game 4 and we got it done.”

Jimmy Butler chalked up 24 points – including the 3 win-sealing free throws in the last 6 seconds – and 9 rebounds for the Heat, while Goran Dragic had 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals.

Bam Adebayo added 20 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 steals in the win as he shrugged off the pain caused by an apparent wrist injury by staying on the floor until the final buzzer.

The Heat are in prime position to advance to the NBA Finals, with teams leading 3-1 in the conference/division finals holding a 50-4 all-time win record.

Held scoreless in the first half, Jayson Tatum delivered 28 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists for the Celtics, while Jaylen Brown chipped in 21 points and 9 rebounds.

Kemba Walker had 20 points in the loss, with the Celtics on the verge of suffering the same fate they did when they lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 5 games in the conference finals in 2017. – Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.