World news – GB – Heat vs. Celtics: Bam Adebayo ices Miami victory with a block on Jayson Tatum you have to see to believe


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If the rest of the Eastern Conference finals goes like Game 1 — which there is every reason to suspect it will — strap in for a long, incredible series. The Miami Heat outlasted the Boston Celtics in Tuesday’s Game 1, 117-114 in overtime, and there were plays being made all over the court in the waning moments. 

To close regulation, after Jimmy Butler hit a tough corner 3-pointer to put the Heat up one with 22 seconds to play, Miami’s Derrick Jones Jr. got whistled for a very questionable foul before the ball was inbounded on Boston’s ensuing possession, which resulted in a technical free throw for Boston, which Tatum made before missing a long potential game-winning 3-pointer. 

After Kemba Walker, who struggled from the field all night, stuck a step-back jumper to give Boston a one-point lead with just over 23 seconds left to play, Butler, once again, answered by muscling through Tatum for an and-one on the other end, completing the free throw for a two-point Miami lead with 12 seconds left. 

On the ensuing possession, Tatum, who had probably waited a bit too long to make his move on the potential-game-winning shot in regulation, beat Butler off the dribble and found an open lane to the rim. He took off, cocked the ball back, and appeared headed for a thunderous game-tying dunk. Then Adebayo did this …

Are you kidding me? Tatum was coming to throw that down with such force that this is what Bam’s wrist looked like when he absorbed it:

Listen, I’ve been known to be a bit hyperbolic from time to time (OK, a lot of the time), but that has to be one of the best blocks, considering the circumstances, in NBA history. LeBron James’ famous chase-down block in the Finals and, perhaps, Tayshaun Prince’s chase-down block on Reggie Miller in the 2004 Eastern Conference finals are the only better ones I can think of off the top of my head. 

Bam Adebayo’s block on Jayson Tatum’s dunk attempt was the best defensive play I’ve seen ever in the playoffs!!!!

« Those are habits and instincts where he’s willing to put himself out there. That could be a poster dunk, » Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after the game, calling Adebayo’s potentially game-saving play a « big-time save, » per Mark Medina of USA Today. 

Via Mark Stein of the New York Times, citing ESPN Stats and Info, Adebayo is the first player to block a potential game-tying or go-ahead dunk in the final minute of a playoff game since the advent of play-by-play in 1996-97. 

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