Game 3 in Miami was a must-win for the Boston Celtics after dropping both games at home to the Heat to fall into a 2-0 hole in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Despite being in a desperation situation, the Celtics came out flat and promptly got run out of the building by the Heat. Miami’s defense stifled Boston’s stars — Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 26 points on 12-of-35 shooting — and the Heat continued their terrific shooting from long-range to build a 15-point lead at halftime. Things would not improve for Boston in the third quarter, as Miami would double that advantage as they outscored the Celtics 32-17 after halftime to open up a 30-point advantage.
Early in the third, there was a sequence that saw Bam Adebayo finish a nasty alley-oop over Grant Williams followed by a Gabe Vincent pull-up three that pushed Miami’s lead to 23, prompting an early Boston timeout.
This Heat sequence! 😤
Miami has their biggest lead of the night 💪 pic.twitter.com/HUUvzWCKYd
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 22, 2023
As the Celtics retreated to their bench, dejected, Jimmy Butler took the opportunity to troll them (and specifically Al Horford) by taking a knee and doing the timeout symbol, just as Horford did after a three in Game 1.
JIMMY BUTLER AND THE MIAMI HEAT DON'T FORGET, AL HORFORD. TIME-OUT!!!! pic.twitter.com/5anOBCsbSN
— Naveen Ganglani (@naveenganglani) May 22, 2023
It’s sensational stuff, as Butler mimic’s Horford’s taunt perfectly and it’s made even more painful given Horford did it in what became a loss for Boston and it still came back to bite him two games later. The funniest part is that the Heat were hit with a technical foul for taunting after the timeout, but it wasn’t Butler who earned it. Instead, Max Strus was apparently talking so much trash to the Celtics bench in the midst of a blowout that the refs had to step in and hit him with a T, which is maybe a low point in Celtics franchise history.