Tyler Herro is on a mission.
Coming off just his second loss of his postseason career, Herro entered Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals with the same mentality he’s possessed since his early high school days. He came to kill. Whether it be on the scoring or facilitating end, the rookie guard brought what it takes to put your name among some of the league’s greats.
Scoring 37 points on 14 of 21 shooting, 6 rebounds and 6 assists, Herro was the essential factor to the Miami Heat’s 112-109 victory over the Boston Celtics to take a commanding 3-1 series lead.
To put Herro’s performance into an even higher remark, his 37 points are the most points ever scored by a rookie in Conference Finals history, along with the most recorded by a 20-year-old in a playoff game since Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, who had 42.
How does Herro react?
“That’s just who I am,” he said following his record-setting night. “I grew up like that and I’m gonna stay like that for as long as I’m in the league.”
A takeover performance to say the least, Herro is no newbie to taking the clutch shots. From his dagger three-pointer in the Sweet 16 with Kentucky to an early season dagger against the Chicago Bulls to a jaw-dropping shot versus the Philadelphia 76ers to his series-clinching performance against the Milwaukee Bucks, Herro is a player who merits the respect of any defender when it matters most.
And now, just one win away from reaching the NBA Finals, he’s done it again on the highest stage of his early career. Unlike other young players, however, he won’t let this shiny performance stand in the way of the Heat’s ultimate goal.
That of course, advancing to play in a Finals series similar to no other, with a chance to cement his team into the NBA for decades to come.
How much does that mean for Herro?
“Everything. I more wanna do it for Jimmy [Butler] though. … He hasn’t got to the Finals. I wanna do it for him. He’s been a great big brother to me.”
Herro and the Heat will have the chance to wrap things up as early as Friday at 8:30 p.m. He’ll have a chance to break more records, as another double-digit scoring performance would be his 14th consecutive, passing Elgin Baylor and tying Jayson Tatum for most consecutive games with 10 plus points by a rookie.
“Let’s make it happen,” Herro said.