During the conference semifinals, much was made about how the team that won the third quarter often won the game as the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers jousted. It seems that theme is carrying over as the Miami Heat are playing their most inspired ball in the third frame and it's a top reason for their recent success.
The Heat outscored the Celtics by 13 points in the third quarter of Game 2 and are now plus-24 in the third quarter for the series. What's more, the Heat are plus-60 overall in the third frame of their last five games, according to Stats and Info, but a mere plus-17 in the other frames.
A glance at Miami's third-quarter success (versus the rest of the frames) in that five-game span:
Game 2 vs Celtics -- +13 third quarter; -2 rest of game
Game 1 vs Celtics -- +11 third quarter; +3 rest of game
Game 6 vs Pacers -- +12 third quarter; even rest of game
Game 5 vs Pacers -- +10 third quarter; +22 rest of game
Game 4 vs Pacers -- +14 third quarter; -6 rest of game