In­side Heat rookie’s record-set­ting night

USA TODAY US Edition - - SPORTS - Jeff Zillgitt

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Twenty years old, rookie in the NBA play­ing in his first post­sea­son and close to an NBA Fi­nals ap­pear­ance.

So what did Mi­ami’s Tyler Herro do? The 13th pick in the 2019 draft met the mo­ment like an All-Star.

He scored a ca­reer-high 37 points on 14-for-21 shoot­ing, in­clud­ing 5-for-10 on 3-point­ers, push­ing Mi­ami to a 112-109 vic­tory over Bos­ton in Game 4 on Wed­nes­day for a 3-1 se­ries lead in the East­ern Con­fer­ence fi­nals.

The Heat can ad­vance to the NBA Fi­nals with a win Fri­day (8:30 pm, ET, ESPN).

“He has a fear­less­ness that is un­com­mon,” Heat coach Erik Spoel­stra said of Herro. “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.”

Herro, who scored 22 points in the sec­ond half, in­clud­ing 17 in the fourth quar­ter, made the record books with his per­for­mance: set a Heat record for most

points by a rookie in a play­off game; be­came the youngest to score 30 or more points in the con­fer­ence fi­nals; set a record for most points by a rookie in the con­fer­ence fi­nals; be­came the sec­ondy­oungest player to score 35 or more points in a play­off game.

“Herro’s shot-mak­ing tonight was, in ad­di­tion to the things we just talked about that were our own is­sues, was the dif­fer­ence in the game,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “Herro was ridicu­lously good tonight. That rim must have looked like the ocean to him.”

Said Herro: “I think once you see a cou­ple shots go down, and when you’re get­ting shots in rhythm ... the game flows. I know where I’m go­ing to get my shots, and I’m go­ing to get the same shots next game in the same spots.”

But it wasn’t just the made shots, it was the tim­ing of so many of them.

“The con­text of those makes, you know, are the big separa­tors in this league, and those are pres­sure shots,” Spoel­stra said. “We had to step up against a re­ally good de­fense. He was mak­ing plays at the end of the clock. ... and that – that’s a skill set that he has. He can cre­ate off the drib­ble.” Herro’s 14 made field goals:

No. 1: 13-foot step-back. Mi­ami 20, Bos­ton 18.

No. 2: Run­ner off the high glass with six sec­onds left on the shot clock. Mi­ami 22, Bos­ton 18.

No. 3: 18-foot jump shot. Mi­ami 26, Bos­ton 25.

No. 4: Cor­ner 3-pointer in front of Bos­ton bench. Mi­ami 31, Bos­ton 28.

No. 5: 14-foot jumper from right el­bow with four sec­onds left on the shot clock. Mi­ami 33, Bos­ton 28

No. 6: 14-foot run­ner off the glass with five sec­onds left on the shot clock. Mi­ami 44, Bos­ton 40.

No. 7: 27-foot 3 from the top of the arc. Mi­ami 73, Bos­ton 68.

No. 8: Run­ning floater in the key. Mi­ami 75, Bos­ton 71.

No. 9: 27-foot 3 from the top of the arc with two sec­onds left on the shot clock. Mi­ami 80, Bos­ton 76.

No. 10: 16-foot pull-up jumper just be­hind the foul line. Mi­ami 82, Bos­ton 78.

No. 11: 27-foot 3 from the top of the arc. Mi­ami 89, Bos­ton 85.

No. 12: Nifty re­verse layup right down the lane. Mi­ami 91, Bos­ton 85.

No. 13: 29-foot 3-pointer from left wing with All-NBA de­fender Mar­cus Smart guard­ing and with the shot clock at three sec­onds when the ball went through the net. Mi­ami 98, Bos­ton 90.

No. 14: Cut­ting layup with one sec­ond on the shot clock. Mi­ami 107, Bos­ton 98.

“Not too many peo­ple get an op­por­tu­nity to make it this far in the play­offs and to be in a game like this,” Mi­ami’s Jimmy But­ler said. “But for him, it’s an­other day at the of­fice. I think it makes all of us smile.”

KEVIN C. COX/GETTY IM­AGES

Tyler Herro and Go­ran Dragic em­brace af­ter the Heat de­feated the Celtics in Game 4 of the East­ern Con­fer­ence fi­nals.

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