Despite being 14.5-point underdogs entering Game 2 at TD Garden in Boston, the Heat walked away with a 10-point win on Wednesday night. The victory marks the first big upset of the 2024 playoffs and evens their first-round series record against the Celtics at 1-1. Miami struck a franchise record, hitting 23 three-pointers in a remarkable 111 to 101 series comeback win. The Heat were underdogs largely because of the absence of star Jimmy Butler but managed to come out the more confident and aggressive team by far.

The Celtics took Game 1 on Sunday as the team cruised to a win, but despite leading by three points at halftime on Wednesday, multiple long-distance shots from six different Miami players ultimately proved too much for the Celtics. Tyler Herro had six triples, racking up a team-high 24 points and 14 assists while Caleb Martin and Bam Adebayo tacked on 21 each.

It was no surprise to see the Celtics gain massive offensive production from their star players, but little else seemed to come together. Jaylen Brown reached a game-high with 33 points and Jayson Tatum poured on an additional 28, but the other six Celtics combined for a flat 50 points. Boston entered the playoffs as heavy favorites with the one seed after winning 64 games in the regular season.

Meanwhile, the Heat are working to win the first round via upset for the second consecutive year. Entering the 2023 playoffs as the number eight seed, they ultimately knocked out the one-seeded Bucks in five games. Nevertheless, to accomplish this feat a second time would be remarkable, so it’s worth looking at why they were able to pull off the upset on Wednesday.

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One reason it stands out—and is a nightly discussion in the NBA—is the seeming fact that long-distance shooting must be top-tier to pull off such an upset. This, of course, pales in comparison to what the Heat did on Wednesday, launching from all distances and angles to hit a franchise record.

Additionally, the impressive comeback was not the result of one player getting hot but, essentially, the whole team getting fired up. Long-range marksman Duncan Robinson, ironically, and Delon Wright were the only two players to shoot less than 50% from beyond the arc. While hitting three-pointers at a rate of 54% is not sustainable, the formula to work from the outside in is in place for Miami.

Other than the impressive hot streak from long range, the ability of the Heat’s defense to remain disciplined despite the Celtics’ knack for stretching teams out was vital. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra sought to limit Boston’s three-point attempts despite occasionally leaving defenders on an island as a result. The approach clearly worked as the Celtics went only 12 for 32 from distance on Wednesday night.

Lastly, some specific praise needs to be set aside for Herro who said the injured Jimmy Butler told him to be more aggressive following the series opener. Evidently, Herro took the leader’s words to heart. He put up 12 points on four three-pointers in the first half but, perhaps, made the most impact as a playmaker filling the huge facilitating gap created by Butler’s absence. Herro remained incredibly patient, making swift decisions with the ball and drawing multiple defenders with his pull-up shooting ability.

Game 3 will be played in Miami on Saturday evening, April 27, at 6:00 EST.