MIAMI -- At shootaround Tuesday morning ahead of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, Marcus Smart had a message for the Miami Heat:

"Don't let us get one," Smart said. "Just don't let us get one."

It was quite a statement to make, given that the Celtics entered Game 4 in a 3-0 hole in this best-of-seven series -- a deficit that 150 teams have faced over the course of NBA history, and not one of them has successfully recovered from.
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But, a few hours later, Smart and the Celtics followed through on their part of the bargain, claiming a 116-99 victory over Miami, sending this series back to Boston for Game 5 on Thursday with the Celtics now three more victories away from history.


"Now we've just got to go win another one," Smart said after finishing with 11 points and six assists in 35 minutes. "That's all that matters. We take it one game at a time. We understand the odds are stacked against us, but we're a team that believes in us no matter what, and we've just got to keep going, and all that matters is the next game."

Boston found itself in a 3-0 hole coming into Game 4 because it repeatedly failed to survive adverse situations. The Celtics collapsed down the stretch in Games 1 and 2, then were blown out of Kaseya Center in Game 3.

Now, as this series shifts back to Boston, the Celtics have at least taken the first step toward making history.

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