Erik Spoelstra On Game 4 Performance: ‘We Are Not Making Any Excuse’

The Boston Celtics dominated the Miami Heat from the opening tip in a convincing 102-82 victory at home to tie the Eastern Conference Finals at 2-2.

The Heat scored just 11 points in the first quarter and immediately found themselves down 18 at the end of one. Miami then went on to only reach 33 points at the end of the second quarter and was down by 24 points at halftime.

Heat star Jimmy Butler scored just six points on 3-for-14 shooting as Miami’s starters scored a combined 18 points in an underwhelming performance.

“This is part of the playoffs; there are these extreme highs and lows,” Coach Erik Spoelstra said, per ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. “We’ve proven that we can find solutions offensively in a lot of different ways.”

The Heat is struggling with multiple injuries, as Butler (knee inflammation), point guard Kyle Lowry (hamstring), and power forward P.J. Tucker (knee contusion) are all playing through nagging injuries. Tyler Herro, the 2022 Sixth Man of the Year winner, is also hobbled and missed Game 4 with a groin injury.

“We are not making any excuse,” Spoelstra said. “We can do it in the mud. We can win it ugly. We can win it when the floodgates come open, hitting threes. We can do it with Jimmy taking over a game. We can do it when he’s facilitating. We have the mental fortitude and the collective toughness to be able to embrace what we have. It’s just a very competitive, good series.”

“No excuse for how I played tonight. It don’t got nothing to do with my knee,” Butler said. “I’ve just got to be better. I will be better. I’m not too worried about it.”

On the other side, Boston star Jayson Tatum scored 31 points on 8-of-16 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds. Big men Al Horford and Robert Williams III combined for 22 rebounds and six blocked shots.

Both teams will look to take a 3-2 advantage as the series heads back to Miami for an 8:30 tip-off at FTX Arena Wednesday night.