On a scramble beneath the basket, Chris Bosh made a layup to put Miami within 93-96 with 2:02 left to go in the Heat's Monday night game against the Boston Celtics. But after a Boston timeout, Gerald Green fouled Jae Crowder in the act of shooting. Crowder made both free throws, and Dwyane Wade missed a reverse layup on the other end of the floor. Avery Bradley swiped at Wade's arm, but it didn't matter. The referee didn't call a foul, and Miami missed its last good chance.
The Heat lost their third home game of the season to the Celtics 105-95, a team playing on the second night of a back-to-back. Boston looked like the more active team, and Miami players went through several listless stretches -- most notably at the end of the first quarter and start of the third. The Heat made several runs to close the gap, but Boston always responded.
To make matters worse, Miami wasted a throwback Wade performance. The three-time NBA champion registered his first 30-point game of the 2015-16 season, going 12-of-24 from the field and 6-of-6 from the foul line. He carried Miami for stretches of the third and fourth quarters -- scoring three consecutive baskets in one stretch of the fourth to get Miami back in the game after falling by 11. He had his explosive first step, and for a bit it looked like the 2008-2012 Wade.
Now, Wade did turn the ball over six times. Many of his mishaps came when he tried to feed the ball to Hassan Whiteside or Chris Bosh in a clogged paint area with Celtics players -- including one blocked pass to Bosh with a minute left that sealed the deal. Miami's spacing was far too close for much of the game, and Erik Spoelstra even went small to close the game. He pulled Hassan Whiteside and moved Justise Winslow to the 4, making Bosh the center.
For his part, Bosh registered 21 points and grabbed 10 boards on the night. He scored the Heat's first eight points of the fourth quarter. Like Wade, Bosh tried to do a bit too much in situations. But on the other hand, the Heat's two best players didn't get much help elsewhere.
Goran Dragic went just 1-of-4 from the foul line and missed all three of his attempts from downtown. Whiteside looked engaged for stretches of the third period, but submitted a lackadaisical first half. Luol Deng sat out his third consecutive game, and Gerald Green went just 1-of-6 from downtown. Justise Winslow shot just 1-of-4 from the field. Josh McRoberts still doesn't look at the basket when he has the ball in his hands.
Tyler Johnson did score 10 points off the bench and probably should have played a bit more, especially down the stretch. Deng's absence may have revealed that the Heat could use another versatile wing player, especially when Chris Andersen and Udonis Haslem don't get playing time. Another 6-8 or 6-9 wing player could allow Johnson to play more in either guard spot.
The Heat will host the Oklahoma City Thunder Thursday at 7 p.m.