Jimmy Butler led the Miami Heat to a Game 1 victory in the Eastern Conference Finals, but the Boston Celtics had an excellent response in Game 2.

The Celtics blew out the Heat 127-102 in Miami, in a game that felt over in the first half. Boston led 70-45 at halftime.

The return of Marcus Smart (mid-foot sprain) and Al Horford (COVID protocols) was huge for Boston on both ends of the floor.

Smart had 24 points, 12 assists, nine rebounds, and three steals, to go with a plus/minus of +31 in 40 minutes played.

Horford didn’t light up the box score, but he still went 4-for-4 from the field (2-of-2 on threes) and chipped in 10 points, along with making an impact defensively.

Jayson Tatum led the Celtics in scoring with 27 points (8-of-13 from the field), and Grant Williams was superb off the bench, scoring 19 points (5-of-7 from the field, 2-of-2 on threes, 7-of-8 from the line) and putting together a plus/minus of +37.

Boston was able to split the first two games on the road, and they showed how much better they are when Smart and Horford are a part of things. And now the Celtics have home-court advantage, with three of a potential five remaining games in Boston (if the series were to go seven games).

Additionally, Heat starting forward P.J. Tucker suffered a knee injury that has his status in question.

The Celtics open as 6.5-point favorites in Game 3, and they’re now clear favorites to win the series.

Here’s a look at how the basketball world is reacting to Boston’s Game 3 win:

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.