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Celtics to start Eastern Conference Finals vs. Miami Heat Tuesday

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Celtics get a few days off before starting the Eastern Conference Finals.

NBA: Boston Celtics at Miami Heat Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After Friday night’s Game 7 win over the Toronto Raptors, the Boston Celtics have the luxury of playing in their third Eastern Conference Finals in the last four seasons.

The Celtics will get a much-needed few days off before the Eastern Conference Finals take place with a well-rested Miami Heat team awaiting. Game 1 will occur Tuesday night and will tip-off at 6:30 p.m. EST unless the Denver Nuggets force a Game 7 versus the Los Angeles Clippers. If that happens, the start time of Celtics-Heat Game 1 will be pushed back two hours.

It looks like the NBA will stick with their every other day format as Game 2 is scheduled for Thursday (time TBD) and Game 3 is set for Saturday at 8:30 p.m.

The Celtics went 2-1 versus the Heat in the regular season, which includes their most recent encounter in a seeding game inside the bubble that Miami won, 112-106.

Boston may receive a boost to its lineup as it is expected that Gordon Hayward, who took part in a pregame shootaround prior to Friday’s Game 7 and has been sidelined with a sprained ankle that he sustained in Boston’s first playoff game on Aug. 17, is getting closer to a return.

“I think he’ll be back at some point in that series, but I don’t know when,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens.