The Miami Heat are the only obstacle left in the Boston Celtics' path to the 2020 NBA Finals.
The two Eastern Conference underdogs, who earned the No. 5 and 3 seeds respectively, are set to face off in what should be a thrilling conference finals series. Both teams are coming off upset semifinals victories, with the Heat dominating the No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks and the C's edging out the No. 2 Toronto Raptors.
If the three regular-season meetings between Boston and Miami were a harbinger of what's to come in this series, we're in for a treat. Here's a refresher of what happened in those entertaining matchups.
Dec. 4, 2019: Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker lead C's to 112-93 victory
Ah, the good old days of games played in front of a rabid TD Garden crowd. Fans were treated to a good one in this first C's-Heat meeting, as Jaylen Brown took over in the second half to propel Boston to victory.
Brown was outstanding on both ends of the floor, contributing stellar defense while dropping what at the time was a season-high 31 points. The 23-year-old wasn't the only star, however, as newcomer Kemba Walker added 28 points and seven assists while helping to fill the void left by Marcus Smart (out with an illness).
On Miami's side, Jimmy Butler was sensational. He nearly led a second-half comeback and finished with a game-high 37 points, six rebounds and four assists. Luckily, Boston was able to limit Butler's supporting cast from doing any additional damage.
Jan. 28, 2020: Gordon Hayward drops 29 as Jayson Tatum-less C's win, 109-101
Nearly two months later, the Celtics were handed the difficult task of taking down the Heat on the road -- without Jayson Tatum. Miami was one of the league's best teams at home, and at the time, Boston had lost six of its previous eight games outside TD Garden.
Gordon Hayward helped the C's get back on the right track with a 29-point, nine-rebound performance. It was his third straight game with 20-plus points, proving the passiveness in his offensive approach a result of his catastrophic ankle injury was a thing of the past.
Once Hayward was matched up against Heat forward Duncan Robinson, it was all over. His performance in this game was a perfect example of why his availability in this ECF series will be key for the Celtics.
Putting on a show alongside Hayward was Jaylen Brown with 25 points, marking another standout performance for Brown vs. Miami.
Daniel Theis stepped up with fellow big men Robert Williams and Enes Kanter both out. He finished with 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Aug. 4, 2020: Heat get hot from 3, beat C's 112-106 in the bubble
Miami finally got the best of Boston in Orlando, where teams were just beginning to get accustomed to their new lifestyle in the bubble.
The Heat didn't have Jimmy Butler for this one, but it didn't matter. They never trailed during a game they dominated far more than what the final score suggests. Bam Adebayo and Duncan Robinson both scored 21 points, and Goran Dragic added 20 off the bench. Robinson and Tyler Herro drilled five and three 3-pointers respectively.
As for the Celtics, Jayson Tatum had a team-high 23 points to go with seven rebounds while Jaylen Brown contributed a double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds). All five C's starters scored in double figures, but they got little help from the bench outside Enes Kanter (10 points) and Brad Wanamaker (8 points).
Can the C's duplicate their efforts from their first two meetings with the Heat in their seven-game series? We're about to find out.
The Eastern Conference finals begin Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. ET, and NBC Sports Boston will have complete coverage of Game 1 with Celtics Pregame Live at 5:30 and Celtics Postgame Live immediately after the final buzzer.