Over the last few years, the Miami Heat have made a living by defying the doubters and surpassing expectations.
It has allowed them to upset the Milwaukee Bucks twice in the last four years in the playoffs, and both times, the Bucks were the top-seeded team with the best regular-season record in the NBA.
The Heat’s surprising run continued on Wednesday when they stole Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals from the Boston Celtics in Massachusetts, 123-116.
They did so despite winning just one quarter, but this was the seventh time they have won a playoff game since 2020 when they have won just one quarter.
The rest of the league has only seven such wins combined during that same time frame, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Last night, the Heat lost 3 of the 4 quarters and still won the game.
Since the 2020 Bubble, the Heat have won 7 playoff games where they lost 3 of the 4 quarters. The rest of the NBA has 7 such wins combined. pic.twitter.com/pddavxnyFn
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 18, 2023
Coming into Game 1, the Celtics were fairly heavy favorites to win the series, and many were favoring them to win the world championship.
The team led by 13 points just before halftime, and it looked like they would cruise to a series-opening win.
But the Heat went into volcano mode in the third quarter, scoring 46 points while Boston could muster just 25 points.
Boston looked to make a run down the stretch, but Jayson Tatum disappeared in the fourth quarter, and he committed back-to-back traveling violations with the game on the line.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler had another magnificent performance with 35 points, and 20 of them coming in the second half.
It has all put the Celtics in a must-win situation for Game 2, while the Heat look to be in position to upset yet another team in the playoffs that appears to be superior on paper.NEXT: Stats Show How Dominant Jimmy Butler Has Been In Playoffs