Celtics rally to beat Heat, stay alive in NBA playoffs

Miami Heat's Bam Adebayo (13) and Boston Celtics' Daniel Theis (27) battle for the ball during the second half of an NBA conference final playoff basketball gameon Sept. 25, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Short Url
Updated 27 September 2020

Celtics rally to beat Heat, stay alive in NBA playoffs

  • The winners of the series take on either the Los Angeles Lakers or Denver Nuggets for the NBA title
  • The Lakers lead the Nuggets three games to one in the Western Conference finals

MIAMI: The Boston Celtics roared back in the second half to beat the Miami Heat 121-108 on Friday to stay alive in the NBA playoffs.
Jayson Tatum scored 31 points and pulled down 10 rebounds and Jaylen Brown added 28 points as six Celtics players scored in double figures and Boston cut the deficit in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals to three games to two.
Goran Dragic led the Heat with 23 points and Duncan Robinson added 20 for Miami, who are trying to reach the NBA finals for the first time since 2014.
With their season hanging in the balance, the Celtics exploded for 41 points in the third quarter to turn the tide in a game dominated early by Miami.
Under solid pressure from the Heat defense, the Celtics had made just one of their first 12 shots and connected on just five of 20 from the field in the first quarter.
Boston trailed by as many as 12 in the opening period, which ended with the Heat leading 26-18.
Miami again built the lead to 12 in the second period and finished the first half with a 58-51 lead.
But Boston were beginning to see some shots fall, and as they turned up the intensity on both ends of the floor after the interval Miami had no answer.
The Celtics opened the second half with a 20-5 scoring run.
Marcus Smart’s three-pointer tied it up at 60-60 and Boston took the lead for the first time in the contest, 62-60, on Brown’s layup off a feed from Kemba Walker.
They wouldn’t trail again.
Walker’s three-pointer with 4:26 left in the third gave Boston a 10-point lead and the Celtics took a nine-point edge into the final frame, when they continued to pour it on.
Tatum scored 17 in the third and the Celtics out-rebounded the Heat 16-5 in the quarter.
“We got back to playing Celtics basketball,” Walker said. “I felt like early in the game we were a little frustrated, bickering at each other at the refs. We got out of it, and just let the game come to us.”
The Celtics will try to build on their momentum against a Heat team determined to put them away in game six on Sunday.
The winners of the series take on either the Los Angeles Lakers or Denver Nuggets for the NBA title in the quarantine bubble in Orlando, Florida.
The Lakers lead the Nuggets three games to one in the Western Conference finals.
Boston’s German center Daniel Theis contributed a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds, Smart finished with 12 points and Gordon Hayward chipped in 10.
“Boston played great in that second half, they deserved and earned what they got,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
“We did not compete hard enough defensively and we paid the price for that. But you do have to credit Boston, they played with great force particularly off the dribble.”
Spoelstra noted that the Celtics scored just four points in the paint in the first quarter but added: “It was just a deluge to the rim after that.”
Boston scored 30 points in the paint in the second half and had 13 fastbreak points to Miami’s zero after the break.
“We didn’t defend as well as we could in the first half and that’s what got our offense going in the second half,” Tatum said. “We just locked in, we were all on the same page.”


Saudi Arabia to make golf free for women in bid to grow the game

Updated 2 min 33 sec ago

Saudi Arabia to make golf free for women in bid to grow the game

  • ‘Ladies First Club’ will grant first 1,000 registrants free lessons, club membership and rounds of golf
  • Aimed at introducing women to the sport, welcoming them to clubs and getting more Saudis regularly active

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has announced a sporting initiative that will allow women to take up the game of golf expense-free.

To be launched at next month’s debut Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by Public Investment Fund, Golf Saudi’s innovative ‘Ladies First Club’ will offer a complimentary membership inclusive of golf lessons, driving range access and full 18-hole rounds on three different courses.

It will be open to all Saudi women, with initial membership capped at 1,000 registrants.

All players signed-up to the scheme will be designated as a Ladies First Member at either Riyadh Golf Club, Dirab Golf Club or King Abdullah Economic City’s (KAEC) Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, depending on their location.

The membership will include a digital ‘Introduction to Golf’ education pack, which will provide monthly seminars outlining the key aspects of golf for beginners. Each of the three golf courses will also host a Ladies First golf clinic once a month, led by a professional, which will conclude with an on-course induction for all participants and a chance to play an 18-hole round.

Full range access will then remain available to all members of the club, with the program’s top 12 performers being offered a full, year-round membership at their course of choice.

Majed Al Sorour, CEO of Golf Saudi, said: “The Ladies First Club will be a club like no other. It is our most exciting initiative yet aimed at developing the great game of golf across Saudi Arabia and is the ideal way to celebrate the historic nature of the Kingdom’s first ever women’s golf tournament, the Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by Public Investment Fund.

Sorour continued: “Golf is growing in Saudi Arabia and we remain committed to our targets. We are already seeing a steady rise in interest from women golfers and we hope the Ladies First Club will help us reach that next level.”

CEO of Golf Saudi Majed Al Sorour. (Supplied)

Off course, the Ladies First Club will include a range of additional social opportunities too, including invites to social mornings with the likes of Pilates, yoga, bridge and other social and wellbeing activities.

All registrants will also receive member discounts across all three golf clubs’ restaurants and shops and will receive access to discounted full membership options on completion of the program.

Maha Haddioui is the first and only Arab woman golfer to play on the Ladies European Tour to date. She will be taking part in both of next month’s Saudi events.

She said: “Any way of making it easier to get women out playing golf has my backing — and the scheme that Golf Saudi have created with the Ladies First Club is a fantastic idea. From my experience, there is no better way of opening the sport up to new golfers than making it fun, inclusive and social. This initiative is each of those things.”

Amateur golfer Sara Salhab, 27, regularly plays golf with friends at Dirab Golf Club, having played the sport since she was young.
She said: “The Ladies First Club is a great idea because it’s creating a platform to take women’s golf to the next level, by giving the required professional help and building a community that will allow players to flourish, so I think it’s great.

“Golf is a very nice sport that works both your mind and your body — and you’re outdoors in greenery, which is great, especially here. I really enjoy it. More women should play because it is very healthy, you get to be outdoors and it’s a social activity that — with the Ladies First Club — is more accessible than ever.”

The Ladies First Club will officially launch during tournament build-up week for the Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by Public Investment Fund, which takes place 12th-15th November — two days before the Saudi Ladies Team International, which will see teams of four golfers compete together for a share of $500,000 prize money, 17th-19th November.

Women looking to register for the Club will be able to do so via the Golf Saudi website from the week the historic events get underway.

For more information about the Ladies First Club, Golf Saudi and both the Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF and the Saudi Ladies Team International, visit: www.golfsaudi.com/en-us/ladies-international