Sports | September 24, 2020 10:11 am

Miami Rookie Tyler Herro Carries Heat to Win Over Celtics in East Finals

Now leading the series 3-1, Miami is just one win away from advancing

Miami Rookie Tyler Herro Carries Heat to Win Over Celtics in East Finals
Tyler Herro and Goran Dragic of the Miami Heat react after their win over the Boston Celtics.
Getty Images

Trying to get a win in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals to extend their lead over the Boston Celtics in the best-of-seven series to 3-1, the Miami Heat turned to a 20-year-old rookie instead of a savvy veteran, and boy, did he deliver.

Tyler Herro, who the Celtics were reportedly targeting on draft night before he was picked by Miami, scored a Heat rookie-record 37 points as his team beat Boston 112-109 on Wednesday night.

In somewhat of a sloppy game for both teams, Herro was consistently able to score the ball from all over the court, shooting 14-of-21 from the floor, including 5-for-10 on 3-pointers. With the scoring outburst, Herro became the second 20-year-old in NBA playoff history to score at least 37 points in a game. The other: Magic Johnson.

“He has a great competitive humility about him,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said following the win. “He has a confidence. He has a fearlessness that is uncommon. 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.”

Thanks to Herro, Jimmy Butler (24 points), Goran Dragic (22) and Bam Adebayo (20 and 12 rebounds), the Heat are one win away from advancing to the NBA Finals, and they can close out the series on Friday night in Game 5.

Held scoreless in the first half, third-year player Jayson Tatum scored all 28 of his points for the Celtics after intermission as they erased a double-digit deficit to take a one-point lead in the fourth. But, it was too little, too late, as Herro and the Heat were able to re-take the lead and hold on down the stretch.

Jaylen Brown scored 21 points, Kemba Walker had 20, Gordon Hayward had 14 and Marcus Smart chipped in 10 with 11 assists for the losers.

“At the end of the day, we got to find a way,” Walker said. “That’s really all we can do. We can do it. It’s about pride. It’s about wanting to do it. Next game we got to come out and show that.”

The NBA playoffs continue tonight with the Nuggets taking on the Lakers. Denver is attempting to even their series with Los Angeles at 2-2.