Herro’s wel­come: Young star guides Heat to 3-1 lead

Marysville Appeal-Democrat - - State / Weather - By David Wil­son Mi­ami Her­ald

Win­ning: The Mi­ami Heat is on the brink of the NBA Fi­nals and a 20-year-old rookie, who wasn’t even a top-10 pick, is lead­ing the way.

Tyler Herro scored a ca­reer­high 37 points, in­clud­ing 17 in the fourth quar­ter, and the Heat beat the Bos­ton Celtics, 112

109, in Game 4 of the East­ern Con­fer­ence fi­nals Wed­nes­day to move within one win of play­ing for a cham­pi­onship.

Herro’s big game gives Mi­ami a 3-1 se­ries lead in Lake Buena Vista and the Heat can ad­vance to the Fi­nals for the first time since 2014 with a win Fri­day.

In the fi­nal min­utes, ev­ery­one from Jimmy But­ler to Bam Ade­bayo to Go­ran Dragic chipped in key of­fen­sive plays. Herro, though, was the driv­ing force on of­fense through­out, help­ing the Heat build a 12-point lead in the sec­ond half and help­ing Mi­ami re­group af­ter the Celtics took the lead in the fourth quar­ter.

Bos­ton ral­lied in the third quar­ter af­ter fall­ing be­hind early in the pe­riod when Jayson Ta­tum fi­nally heated up. The All-star for­ward didn’t score in the first half — it was his first score­less half of the sea­son — and fi­nally got on the board on a three­p­ointer 6:48 left in the third to cut the Mi­ami’s lead to 70-63. In those fi­nal seven min­utes of the pe­riod, Ta­tum scored 16 points on 6 of 7 shoot­ing with two threes and two and-ones to trim the Heat’s lead to 77-76.

With 8:51 left in the game, the Celtics fi­nally went ahead when wing Jaylen Brown found post player Daniel Theis for an open dunk to give Bos­ton a 85-84 lead. Ade­bayo an­swered to put Mi­ami back ahead and then Herro took over to put away the Celtics.

Herro fol­lowed Ade­bayo’s bucket with a three from the top of the key, then hit an­other shot to force Bos­ton to take a time­out down 91-85 with 6:41 left. Af­ter the time­out, Herro as­sisted on an Ade­bayo hook shot, then drilled a 29-foot three with 4:09 left to push Mi­ami’s lead out to 98-90. The Heat had enough cush­ion to with­stand ev­ery punch the Celtics threw in the fi­nal min­utes, even when they got the lead down to 109-107 be­fore But­ler iced the win with a pair of free throws.

But­ler fin­ished with 24 points and nine re­bounds, Dragic scored 22, and Ade­bayo chipped in a dou­ble-dou­ble with 20 points and 12 re­bounds. Those per­for­mances all paled in com­par­i­son to Herro’s ef­fort.

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