Duke basketball standout Jayson Tatum could not close out Game 1 against the Miami Heat.
Duke basketball sensation Jayson Tatum was coming off of the most points ever scored (51) in a Game 7 in NBA history on Sunday afternoon against the Philadelphia 76ers.
It booked the Boston Celtics a date with the Miami Heat, an 8-seed, in the Eastern Conference Finals with a chance to return to the NBA Finals for a second straight season.
The two teams met last season with a Finals berth on the line and it was Tatum and the Celtics who won Game 7 in South Beach before ultimately losing to the Golden State Warriors.
However, Tatum and the Celtics could not hold a sizable lead on its home floor on Wednesday night in Game 1.
Boston led by as many as 13 points, nine at halftime, but Miami would outscore the defending Eastern Conference Champs 46-25 in the third quarter to take a 12-point lead into the final 12 minutes.
The Celtics would have a rally in them to try and take the first game of the series as the team was down five, 114-110, with 2:31 left but Boston’s defense could not stop the 3-point shooting of the Heat.
In fact, with Boston trailing by seven, 117-110, and under two minutes to play, Tatum was called for traveling on back-to-back possessions and Jimmy Butler would make a 3-pointer to ice the game and put Miami up by 10 points.
Duke basketball product has very quiet second half
Jayson Tatum did not attempt a shot in the fourth quarter of the 123-116 loss and looked very passive when he was on the floor despite his 30 points and seven rebounds.
Tatum committed three of his four total turnovers in the fourth quarter and Wednesday was the fifth time in his postseason career that he did not attempt a field goal in a quarter and the first this postseason, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
He only attempted five total shots in the second half with eight of his 12 points after halftime coming from the free throw line.
Boston will try and split its home games to begin the series on Friday night (8:30p.m., TNT) inside the TD Garden.