Berliner Tageblatt - Tatum leads Celtics to game one win over Heat in NBA playoffs

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Tatum leads Celtics to game one win over Heat in NBA playoffs
Tatum leads Celtics to game one win over Heat in NBA playoffs / Photo: © GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP

Tatum leads Celtics to game one win over Heat in NBA playoffs

Led by a triple double from Jayson Tatum, the Boston Celtics cruised to a 114-94 win over the Miami Heat in the opening game of their NBA playoff first-round series on Sunday.

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The top-seeded Celtics raced out to a 14-0 start, setting the tone for a wire-to-wire victory that was never in doubt despite Miami being able to add some respectability to the score in the fourth quarter.

The Celtics, throwing a barrage of three-pointers, led 60-45 at half-time and extended that advantage to 91-74 by the end of the third quarter before taking their foot off the gas a little in the final period.

The Heat, without injured star Jimmy Butler, reached the playoffs as the number eight seed after beating the Chicago Bulls in a play-in eliminator on Friday.

Miami took the same route into the playoffs last season, going on to upset the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals before they were beaten by the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals.

But the chances of such a run this time look remote, especially without Butler, who is out with a medial collateral knee ligament injury, as the Celtics were just too much for Erik Spoelstra's side.

Tatum, who had his first triple double in a playoff game, put up 23 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and provided 10 assists.

Five-time NBA All-Star Tatum, 26, was one of six players to reach double figures scoring for Boston with Derrick White the second top scorer with 20 points.

Tatum was disappointed with the way the team allowed Miami a glimmer of hope in the fourth quarter, where they were outscored 35-23.

"We had some turnovers, some mistakes," he said. "They're not going to give up, they're not going to lay down. Some things we can correct. We could have done better in that fourth quarter.

"Human nature can play a factor but you can't relax."

Bam Adebayo was top scorer for Miami with 24 points and six rebounds.

Later on Sunday, the Los Angeles Clippers host the Dallas Mavericks, the Indiana Pacers are at the Milwaukee Bucks and the New Orleans Pelicans visit the Oklahoma City Thunder.