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Celtics coach and players "puzzled" about 109-103 loss to Heat

Last night's game was winnable for the Boston Celtics. They came within a point of the Heat (93-92) with 2:20 to go in the game, but eventually lost Game 3 109-103. The turnovers (23 to Miami's 8) and the Heat's steals (19 to Boston's 2) played a large role, but the Celtics players and their coach seemed perplexed as to what took place (per's Steve Aschburner):

The question to Boston was, how could the players and coaches possibly let that (loss) happen? Did they not know this was a kind of big playoff game? They seemed as puzzled afterward as they were befuddled to start.

“It wasn’t just myself,” coach Ime Udoka said. “It was Marcus [Smart], Jayson [Tatum], Jaylen and Al [Horford] all speaking up at shootarounds and at the meetings saying be prepared, knowing they’re going to come out with their best hit. For whatever reason, we didn’t match that to start the game.

Kyle Lowry's return to action and Bam Adeboayo's 31 points, 10 boards and six assists certainly helped Miami's cause, but in the end, it just seemed that Boston was "outworked" in this contest. Bam, Kyle and Victor Olidipo each had four steals and the 23 forced turnovers by the Heat didn't just happen spontaneously.

Expect a major comeback by Jayson Tatum in Game 4. The Heat are not going to give Boston anything, and Jayson may want to skip his pre-game prep with his son Deuce, at least for Game 4. As enchanting and relaxing as that may be, it may not be the best preparation for a do-or-die game with a tough opponent.

One of the best parts of the game was watching Tatum’s son Deuce warm up with him - look at the left hand side of the court. He is the cutest! --- Lisa Lane McCarty

The Celtics desperately need Game 4 in Boston. It appeared The Green were not mentally prepared for Game 3. That should never happen.


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