Can Boston beat Miami?

MIAMI — The Boston Celtics exited their locker room at halftime Tuesday night in control of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.

But then the third quarter happened. After the Heat demolished the Celtics, outscoring them 39-14 and using their physicality to send Boston into a death spiral of miscues and unforced errors, Miami was on its way to a 118-107 victoryto take the opening game of this best-of-seven affair.

“More than anything, it just shows us what we are capable of whenever we worry about getting stops, getting into the open floor, getting to the free throw line, all those good things,” said Jimmy Butler, who led the way for Miami with his latest spectacular performance in these playoffs, finishing with a game-high 41 points — including 17 in that decisive third quarter — nine rebounds and five assists in 41 minutes.

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