It took a while for either team to get on the board with the Celtics missing free throws and the Heat bricking jump shots. It was Bam who would score first for the Heat. Duncan Robinson picked up where he left off last night, delivering early from beyond the arc and even driving the lane for a big bucket.
Despite Miami’s early lead, the Celtics would get going, led by Kemba Walker. Bam displayed some beautiful ball handling as he racked up a quick six points and absolutely froze the Celtics’ defense.
Jimmy Butler was aggressive early on (he had 7 points on some very difficult buckets) and was able to propel Miami to an eight point lead towards the end of the quarter. The Heat would maintain that lead into the second.
The Heat were able to stretch their lead to double digits early on in the second with Tyler Herro getting on the board. Justise continued to handle point guard responsibilities with Goran out and was very good in setting up his teammates for easy buckets and scoring himself.
Miami’s defense was also strong as they caused the Celtics to turn over the ball fairly often and allowed no easy buckets in the paint, unfortunately this also sent a lot of Boston players to the free throw line.
The Celtics fought back on an 8-0 run to get things within three with Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum doing damage. Turnovers were a problem for the Heat again (they had more than eight in the half) and that field a large portion of the Celtics run (they turned it into a 21-4 run). It didn’t help that Miami entered a vicious scoring drought with nobody seemingly able to score.
The Celtics thoroughly dominated the Heat in the second half of the quarter to take an eight point lead into halftime.
The Heat’s scoring drought continued into the second half, while the Celtics continued to surge. Kendrick Nunn worked to get the Heat out of their hole, but bad fouls by the rest of the team made things difficult.
On offense the Heat elected to shoot jumpers instead of driving, which limited their scoring. Still they didn’t fall too far behind.
The Heat continued to chip away at Boston’s lead to get within eight thanks to Jimmy Butler’s relentless effort on offense. Miami would return fire with a 14-3 run of their own, shocking the Celtics somewhat to get back in this game.
The Celtics’s Jaylen Brown would unfortunately hit two threes in a row to distance things once again. The Celtics would continue their assault until the end of the quarter. Miami would go into the fourth quarter down 13.
The Heat would start the fourth with yet another foul.
All bias aside, I must say some of these foul call were very weak. The Heat were called for three fouls in the first 35 seconds of the fourth quarter. A lot of this is because Miami was obviously tired, but still the Heat need to be more disciplined than that.
The Celtics increased their lead to 20, while Miami struggled to score and defend (basically everything you need to win a basketball game). While things largely fell apart, (notwithstanding a few offensive spurts) Jimmy Butler had himself a game. He was fantastic hitting what looked like impossible threes and carrying almost all of the Heat offense.
The Heat had no answers for the Celtics as the fourth quarter came to a close. Before everybody panics, it’s worth noting that the Heat have been a terrible back to back team this season. That coupled with the fact that this was their third game in four nights, it makes sense that things weren’t as sharp as last night. This could be considered a schedule loss.
Still, with their focus on conditioning it’s rough seeing the Heat look so lethargic. They’ll have an easier schedule next week with a lot of rest, so hopefully that allows the team to get back to the drawing board and break down this disappointing loss.