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NBA Game Notes (May 21, 2023)
Here are the NBA game notes for games that were played on May 21, 2023.
Heat Embarrass Celtics
The Miami Heat dealt the Boston Celtics an embarrassing 128-102 loss in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals to take a commanding 3-0 series lead. The Heat will have a chance to complete the sweep in Miami on Tuesday.
The Heat’s 26-point margin of victory is the largest in NBA history by a No. 8 seed in a playoff game:
26 — Miami Heat (May 21, 2023)
25 — Golden State Warriors (May 3, 2007)
24 — New York Knicks (May 12, 1999)
23 — Indiana Pacers (May 4, 1993)
23 — Indiana Pacers (April 30, 2002)
It’s also the largest margin of victory in a conference finals game in franchise history.
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The Heat’s Gabe Vincent poured in a game-high 29 points, the most he’s ever scored in a regular season or postseason game. The only undrafted player in NBA history to score more points in a conference finals game is Moses Malone (four times).
Vincent shot 11-14 from the field, including 6-9 from 3-point range. Only two players in NBA history have scored more points in a conference finals game with an effective field goal percentage of at least 100%:
41 — Terry Porter (May 19, 1992)
31 — Daniel Gibson (June 2, 2007)
29 — Gabe Vincent (May 21, 2023)
28 — Derek Fisher (May 27, 2001)
26 — Serge Ibaka (June 2, 2012)
Duncan Robinson came off the bench for the Heat to score 22 points in just 23 minutes played. He made seven of his 11 attempts from the field, including five of seven from 3-point range. Robinson became the franchise’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made in the playoffs with 124, surpassing LeBron James.
The Heat’s Caleb Martin scored 18 points, shooting 7-11 from the floor with four 3-pointers made. Vincent, Robinson, and Martin all scored at least 15 points with an effective field goal percentage of 80%. The only other team in NBA Conference Finals history with three such players in a game was the Phoenix Suns on May 25, 1990 (Tom Chambers, Kevin Johnson, and Jeff Hornacek).
As a team, the Heat shot 46-81 from the field with 19 3-pointers made, an effective field goal percentage of 68.5%. That’s the highest such figure in NBA history in a conference finals game:
68.5% — Miami Heat (May 21, 2023)
67.8% — Houston Rockets (May 25, 2015)
67.6% — Cleveland Cavaliers (May 19, 2017)
67.6% — Cleveland Cavaliers (May 25, 2017)
66.7% — Houston Rockets (May 23, 1997)
It’s also the highest such figure in franchise history in any playoff game.
The Heat finished last in the league in scoring during the regular season (109.5 PPG). They are in line to become just the third team to reach the NBA Finals after finishing last in scoring, joining the 1955-56 Fort Wayne Pistons and 1963-64 San Francisco Warriors. Both of those teams lost 4-1 in the Finals.
The Celtics’ two stars, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, shot a combined 12-35 from the field (34.3%), including 1-14 from 3-point range (7.1%). They attempted just one free throw between the two of them:
Jayson Tatum — 6-18 FG, 1-7 3P, 1-1 FT
Jaylen Brown — 6-17 FG, 0-7 3P, 0-0 FT
Tatum and Brown have played 84 playoff games together. It’s just the fourth time neither player scored at least 15 points.