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Jayson Tatum’s triple-double lifts Celtics to Game 1 blowout of Heat – Boston Herald

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Boston, MA – Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum appears to pass Miami Heat forward Haywood Highsmith during the second quarter of the game at the TD Garden. (Nancy Lane/Boston Herald)

Kristaps Porzingis predicted the Celtics’ first-round matchup against the Miami Heat would be a “war.”

Bam Adebayo used the word “dogfight” to describe the teams’ fourth playoff meeting in five years.

Game 1, however, turned out to be a walkover.

The Celtics began their latest quest for Banner 18 by powering past their perennial postseason foe, defeating the shorthanded Heat 114-94 Sunday afternoon at TD Garden.

Jayson Tatum scored his first triple-double of the playoffs (23 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds) to lead the way for Boston, where six players reached double figures. Derrick White scored a team-high 20 points, with Porzingis scoring 18 points in his postseason Celtics debut and Jaylen Brown adding 17 points and eight boards.

As a team, the Celtics attempted 49 three-pointers and made 44.9% of them, despite a 1-for-8 mark from deep for Tatum. The Heat struggled from long range for much of the day, hitting six of their 12 made 3s in the fourth quarter.

Miami played without six-time All-Star Jimmy Butler, who is expected to miss several weeks after suffering an MCL injury during the Play-In tournament. The Heat defeated the Butler-less Bulls on Friday to capture the No. 8 seed, but they were quickly outclassed by the top-seeded C’s.

The Celtics raced out to a 14-0 lead – prompting Heat coach Erik Spoelstra to call his first timeout less than two minutes after tip-off – and never trailed again. Brown hit a 3-pointer on the opening possession and followed it with a thunderous dunk. Boston also got buckets from Porzingis, Tatum and Jrue Holiday before Adebayo scored Miami’s first points.

Another Adebayo built brief momentum moments later, sparking an 8-0 Heat run. Boston led by just five at the end of the first quarter and by three at the start of the second quarter before a burst of bench scoring pushed the lead back to double digits.

Sam Hauser hit 3-pointers on three consecutive Celtics possessions, then added a fourth at 8:37 of the second quarter as Boston regained control. The third-year sharpshooter emerged as a key contributor this season, and his 12 points on Sunday nearly equaled his total from the Celtics’ entire 2023 playoff run (13).

The Celtics took a 15-point lead into halftime and put the game away with a dominant third quarter, burying their underdog visitors with a brutal attack of threes. All eight of Boston’s rotation players made at least one triple in the win, while White, Brown and Al Horford all hit from deep as part of a 25-5 run to end the third. The Celtics led by 32 entering the fourth quarter, although a late Heat push kept head coach Joe Mazzulla from emptying his bench.