The Miami Heat stunned the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, with a dominant 103-84 victory to clinch a trip to the finals. They eventually pulled away for good in the fourth quarter, but in truth the game had been over since the first possession, when Jayson Tatum sprained his ankle.
With time running down on the shot clock, Tatum worked his way into the paint and tried to Euro-step around Gabe Vincent, who was called for a blocking foul and fell to the ground. Tatum landed on Vincent, rolling his ankle in the process. He remained on the ground for a brief period in which he was clearly in some real pain.
While Tatum remained in the game initially, he checked out earlier than usual in the first quarter and was having his ankle worked on while he was on the bench. He did return to the floor at the start of the second quarter, but did not have his usual lift or explosiveness. Time and again he looked uncomfortable when trying to drive or lift up for a jumper, and he was noticably grimmacing for the remainder of the game.
Tatum ended up gutting out 42 minutes on the night, but he was a shell of himself, finishing with 14 points, 11 rebounds and four assists on 5-13 from the field. The Celtics couldn't run their offense through him, and he couldn't make his usual impact on the defensive end.
Even worse, he got no help from anyone besides Derrick White. The Celtics as a team shot a brutal 9-of-42 from 3-point land, which was even worse than their 7-of-35 effort in Game 6. Jaylen Brown, who they needed to step up in a major way given the circumstances, played one of his worst games of the season: 19 points on 8-of-23 with eight turnovers.