Miami Heat, with help from the backboard, snapped Boston Celtics NBA season high 16-game winning streak, showing tremendous poise with the game on the line. The Heat squandered a 14-point as Boston crept to within 1 point, 91-90, with 3:14 to play. Dion Waiters’ time arrived as he, aided by the backboard, sank a clutch 3-point basket for a 4-point lead.
Our friends over at @FanDuel had the biggest assist of the night... Thanks, guys!
Next the Heat caught a break as Al Horford missed 2 free throws. Waiters did his late-game Dwyane Wade imitation again 19 seconds later give Miami some space for a 97-90 lead. After that Miami kept its compose trading baskets with Boston for last two minutes, to make amends for the humiliating loss against the Indiana Pacers last Sunday.
BALL HARD DION WAITERS!
Those #PhillyCheese 4th quarter dagger 3's!
The offensive played extremely consistently every quarter, scoring 27, 27, 25, 25 points against the NBA's best defense. 7-11 was open with 53 points, as Goran Dragic took the day shift with 20 of his 27 points, and Waiters carried the Heat's offense after halftime, especially in the fourth quarter.
As a team the Heat shoot 49% from the field, 36% from downtown, and 88% from at the charity stripe. Actually the Celtics had more FGA than the Heat, 84 to 81, and 11 more free throws, 27 to 16, but Miami showed its toughness on defense when Boston had the ball.
The Heat won the game on boards, 48 to 37. Those 11 extra possessions kept the ball away from Kyrie Irving and Al Horford, and limited the Celts to 98 points. For the Heat, converting 3 of those surplus boards gave Miami the six points it needed to win.
The bench won the game for Miami as they were a plus +35, while Boston's rotation players logged a total of -37 points against Miami’s reserves. Miami's starters actually did well aginst Boston's All-Starters, at -5 versus their +5 plus/minus stat. Before the season started, fans knew the Heat had a deep team. As long as the starters can keep pace with elite team’s first units, the bench players could win a lot games for Miami.
KO with the throw down!
Please clear everyone out of the paint for Justise Winslow in the post.
On important adjustment coach Erik Spoelstra made was to avoid starter's fatigue in the second half as he limited Dragic and Whiteside's minutes to 31 and 28, respectively. That made a difference to clean up some of the turd in recent games.