basketball

Herro scores Mi­ami rookie-record 37 points

Arab Times - - FRONT PAGE -

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla, Sept 24, (AP): Tyler Herro should still be in col­lege. He’s not, but is still a stu­dent.

He car­ries a red spi­ral-bound note­book with him at all times, jot­ting down notes when things pop into his head. What worked, what didn’t, where he thinks he can get bet­ter and how he’s feel­ing af­ter a game.

“It helps me get locked in, helps me fo­cus,” Herro said.

What­ever he read Wed­nes­day night helped him put to­gether the game of his life – and carry the Mi­ami Heat a win away from the NBA Fi­nals. The 20-year-old Herro scored a Heat rookie-record 37 points and the Heat beat the Bos­ton Celtics 112-109 on Wed­nes­day night in Game 4 of the Eastern Con­fer­ence Fi­nals.

“He has a great com­pet­i­tive hu­mil­ity about him,” Heat coach Erik Spoel­stra said. “He has a con­fi­dence. He has a fear­less­ness that is un­com­mon. But he’s hum­ble enough to work, to be coach­able, to take the men­tor­ship from the veteran play­ers that we have on our team, and he just con­tin­ues to gain more con­fi­dence as we go.” Jimmy But­ler scored 24 points, Go­ran Dragic added 22 and Bam Ade­bayo – deal­ing with a bit of shoul­der sore­ness – had 20 points and 12 re­bounds to help the Heat take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven se­ries. They can close it out Fri­day night in Game 5.

Jayson Ta­tum scored all 28 of his points in the sec­ond half for the Celtics. They erased a dou­ble-digit deficit to take a one-point lead in the fourth – then saw the Heat run away again. Jaylen Brown scored 21 points, Kemba Walker added 20, Gor­don Hayward had 14 and Marcus Smart fin­ished with 10 points and 11 as­sists.

“I didn’t score in the first half. That’s un­ac­cept­able,” Ta­tum said. “I know I have to play bet­ter. That’s what I tried to do.” Brown’s 3-pointer with 16 sec­onds left cut Mi­ami’s lead to 107-104. Herro went to the line 2.1 sec­onds later and coolly swished a pair, stretching the lead back to five. The Celtics got within two points twice, But­ler made a free throw with 1.1 sec­onds re­main­ing, and Bos­ton – out of time­outs – never got a des­per­a­tion shot off.

“At the end of the day, we got to find a way,” Walker said. “That’s re­ally all we can do. We can do it. It’s about pride. It’s about want­ing to do it. Next game we got to come out and show that.” Herro made 14 of 21 shots from the floor, 5 for 10 from 3-point range and be­came just the sec­ond 20-year-old in NBA play­off his­tory to score at least 37 points in a game. The other: Magic John­son, who had 42 in Game 6 of the 1980 NBA Fi­nals for the Los Angeles Lak­ers.

“I feel good about it,” Herro said. “There’s a lot of work to be done still. We’re up 3-1”. And the Heat rookie play­off record was 27 by Dwyane Wade in 2004; it now be­longs to Herro, who scored 17 points in the fourth alone.

Daniel Theis scored with 8:44 left to put Bos­ton up 85-84, the Celtics’ first lead since 25-24 with 11:19 left in the sec­ond quar­ter. It was Bos­ton’s only lead in the sec­ond half and it lasted just 16 sec­onds. Ade­bayo scored to give Mi­ami the lead, and Herro ba­si­cally car­ried the load from there.

“Herro’s shot-mak­ing tonight was ... the dif­fer­ence in the game,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “Jimmy was great late.

Ade­bayo was his typ­i­cal self. Dragic made some big plays. But Herro was ridicu­lously good tonight. That rim must have looked like the ocean to him.” The Celtics shot ex­actly 8-for20 in each of the first two quar­ters and that, com­bined with 11 turnovers, helped the Heat go into the break with a 50-44 lead.

(AP)

Mi­ami Heat guard Go­ran Dragic (7) takes a shot af­ter get­ting through the de­fense of Bos­ton Celtics’ Gor­don Hayward (20) and Jayson Ta­tum (0) dur­ing the first half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball Eastern Con­fer­ence fi­nal on Sept 23, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

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