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Heat rock Celtics, win 112-106

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Despite a late push by the Celtics, the Jimmy Butler-less Heat delivered an impressive team win.

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat Photo by Kim Klement - Pool/Getty Images

First Quarter:

Miami struggled to score at the beginning of this one going 0/4 from the field. Thankfully, the Celtics went 0/3 keeping things scoreless for the first few minutes of the game.

Duncan Robinson jumped out of his slump with an early three, while Kendrick Nunn continued to struggle with his shooting. Jae Crowder’s insertion into the starting lineup has been very effective. When he’s open from beyond the arc he’s nearly automatic. He had 8 points in the first quarter.

With the Heat shooting well, they managed to take an early lead but struggled defensively against Tatum and Brown.

Dragic would come in towards the end of the first and immediately get on the score sheet with a jumper from the elbow keeping his momentum from yesterday afternoon.

Miami’s shooting was much improved as they shot 55% from the field, taking a five point lead into the second quarter.

Second Quarter:

Tyler Herro got things started in the second quarter with three treys to help get the Heat their biggest lead of the half.

In fact the entire bench was solid (the Heat bench had 42+ points tonight) keeping most of the Celtics off the board. The Heat didn’t use its zone defense, which may have benefited them.

Miami’s three point shooting was very great as they shot 45% from three. The Miami Heat really look like a very different team when they’re hitting their shots.

Bam got it going as well, absolutely bodying Celtics’ defenders for a big slam, and following it up with a great drive that led to free throws. In fact he’d get to the line many times, finally getting some “All-Star” caliber calls. This led to a 10-0 run for the Heat.

In response to Boston’s small line-up, Miami brought back their 2-3 zone. It worked as the Heat took a 12 point lead into halftime.

Third Quarter:

Kelly Olynyk would keep things rolling with another three to open the quarter. He was also a phenomenal playmaker in this one. Bam kept drawing fouls, but his free throw shooting was a little bit inconsistent otherwise he could have ran the score up.

The Celtics figured the zone out a little bit going on a 11-0 run to wear the Heat down. The Heat managed to get back on track being led by an aggressive Bam Adebayo. After no free throws, Bam shot his most ever tonight (he was 11/18). Notwithstanding the missed free throws, Bam’s aggressiveness led to good things as he contributed to Marcus Smart fouling out at the end of the third. (Smart was not happy.)

Some exceptional play from Goran Dragic helped the Heat go on an 11-3 run to make the lead a little bit more comfortable for Miami. The Celtics battled back towards the end of the quarter, but Miami was able to generate many trips to the line to keep them at bay and get a lot of Celtics into foul trouble.

Kemba Walker hit a last second half court heave, but the Heat still managed to take an eight point lead into the final quarter.

Fourth Quarter:

Goran Dragic hit some huge buckets to open up this quarter, and keep the Heat rolling. He was fantastic in this one picking up where he left off yesterday, and supplementing the Heat offense without Jimmy for 20+ points.

The Celtics weren’t done though, creeping within striking distance thanks to Gordon Hayward and Jayson Tatum and some poorly timed Heat turnovers.

Duncan Robinson’s fourth three of the game, couldn’t have come at a better time as he put the Heat up seven with 3 minutes to go. Teams have been giving Duncan Robinson a lot of respect lately, and by that I mean pressuring him at all times. He’d hit another to put the Heat up 10 shortly after.

Kemba Walker would come back in the game as the Celtics attempted one final assault, hitting a huge three for the Celtics, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Heat delivered an impressive short-handed win.

Dragic would injure his ankle in the final seconds, so hopefully we know more about his status later tonight.