Boston Celtics have rebounded well following defeats in the last two postseasons. Late-game struggles have plagued them.
The Celtics led Game 2 of the Eastern Conference playoffs against the Miami Heat on Friday night, but another collapse left them down 0-2 in the series. Miami hosts Game 3 Sunday night.
"At the end of the day, we have a real, real decision to make," Celtics forward Grant Williams said. "Are we going to come back and really set the tone for the rest of this year and really make a statement, or are we going to come out and lay down?"
The Celtics are in a huge hole after Jimmy Butler and the Heat again tore them apart in the final minutes.
The Heat kept Boston scoreless for nearly four minutes and forced three turnovers, including two Jayson Tatum traveling penalties, in the last three minutes of Game 1 on Wednesday night.
After Williams' dunk with 3:52 left in Game 2, the Celtics missed their last four attempts and committed two turnovers. They got a third turnover on a backcourt violation against Al Horford and Tatum almost lost the ball many times late in the game.
Over the last 6 minutes, 37 seconds, Miami went 24-9. Bam Adebayo, who had 22 points, 17 rebounds, and nine assists, had eight points, eight rebounds, and four assists in the fourth, including two critical offensive rebounds. Butler scored nine of his 27 points.
"This is a series of discipline and mindset," Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said, "and there were times throughout the game where we weren't the more disciplined team."
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