Bam Adebayo, Heat brace for Celtics, ‘We’re expecting a dogfight’

MIAMI — Some games mean more than others. Over an 82-game NBA schedule, they just do.

One of those moments for the Miami Heat came on Dec. 2 in Boston, after the Heat had fallen to 0-2 against the Celtics in the four-game season series with a loss at TD Garden two nights earlier.

So Jimmy Butler pushed his way back from the knee soreness that had kept him out the previous seven games, seized control late, and powered the Heat to a 120-116 overtime victory.

Tuesday night, in front of a national television audience, the season series closes with the Celtics’ second and final visit to South Florida, with the Heat again looking for a statement win.

“Obviously, it’s history there from before we were here,” center Bam Adebayo said of the breadth of the franchise’s rivalry with the Celtics dating back to the team’s Big Three era and before. “And some people still carry that weight, and it’s one of those things that you’ve just got to inherit.

“Some people just don’t understand it, they don’t get it. But when the Celtics come in we always try to make it a dogfight.”

After pushing past the Celtics to make the 2020 NBA Finals in the Disney World quarantine bubble, the Heat then fell one game short of a repeat NBA Finals appearance last season with a Game 7 loss to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals.

That has had the Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks, who the Heat also have faced twice in the past three postseasons, as the ultimate measuring sticks.

“It’s one of the two team