Miami and Boston, a series of point eruptions

BOSTON (AP) — Extensive advantages. Point droughts. Rashes.

The Eastern Conference finals between the Heat and Celtics are as close as they could be — and they return to Miami with the series tied 2-2. But the individual game is far from closed.

Boston scored 18 of its first 19 points Monday as it cruised to a 102-92 victory in Game 4 of the best-of-seven series. The Celtics led by 32 points in the third quarter — a big difference even in a series that has had several big leads.

“Sometimes when you have two highly competitive teams it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to be one point games,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra warned. “It means that it can light up from anywhere. Both teams can be turned on.”

And it looks like they’re taking turns lighting up. The team that has lost by a wide difference has won the following match.

“What they have done to us, we can do to them,” Spoelstra added. “None of us are happy with what happened last night. It’s part of the postseason. There are high and low ends, especially with two teams that are very close, even tied.

Both take pride in their defense and games dominated by defense are not always entertaining. The series returns to Miami on Wednesday for game 5 and Boston is guaranteed another home game on Friday. The Heat will play the decisive Game 7 on Sunday, if necessary.

“I think human nature has something to do with it, when we win we relax a little bit,” warned Celtics star Jayson Tatum, who had 31 points in Game 4 after scoring just 10 points and 3 of 14 field goals in the game. game 3. “Obviously when we lose, we think the next game is win or die and then we go out there and play like that.”

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It was the fourth game in a row in which either team led by at least 20 points — two of them went over 30 points. There have only been four lead changes in the entire series — one in the second half and none in the fourth quarter.

“It’s crazy,” said Miami guard Victor Oladipo, who came off the bench to score the Heat’s first basket in more than eight minutes of play in the first quarter after trailing 18-1. “I’m not sure I can explain it.”

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