NBA playoffs: Heat dismantle Celtics, punch ticket to finals

BOSTON, May 30
Jimmy Butler scored 28 points, Caleb Martin added 26 and the Miami Heat became the second No. 8 seed to reach the NBA Finals with a convincing 103-84 victory over the host Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday night.
Butler was named MVP of the series after averaging 24.7 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.1 assists.
Bam Adebayo recorded 12 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists as Miami bounced back after losing the previous three games. Teams that held a 3-0 series lead improved to 151-0 all-time in the NBA playoffs. Jaylen Brown had 19 points and eight rebounds and Derrick White scored 18 points for second-seeded Boston, which was just the fourth team in NBA history to force a Game 7 after losing the first three games.
Jayson Tatum had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Celtics, but he turned his left ankle during the game’s first possession and hobbled throughout the contest.
The Heat will face the Western Conference champion Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals. Game 1 is Thursday in Denver. The New York Knicks (1999 postseason) are the only other No. 8 seed to reach the NBA Finals. The other three teams to force a Game 7 after falling behind 3-0 are the New York Knicks (lost to the Rochester Royals in the 1951 NBA Finals), Denver Nuggets (fell to the Utah Jazz in the 1994 second round) and Portland Trail Blazers (lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2003 first round).  Reuters