Marcus Smart opened up the scoring in this one with a three, but Duncan Robinson didn’t wait very long to answer with one of his own. The Heat had good looks to start, but they didn’t always convert whereas the Celtics converted easily on various looks.
Herro continued to grab a ton of boards, he also didn’t settle for jumpers attacking the rim fearlessly. Herro has definitely become more versatile over the offseason.
The Heat didn’t use their zone, electing to go man to man early. In doing so the Celtics feasted from beyond the arc hitting 5 of their first six shots from downtown. In doing so they were able to build a solid lead. It’s not that the Heat were playing bad defense, it’s just that the Celtics hit a lot of good looks. They were 9/13 from the field around the 5-minute mark.
With the Heat struggling on defense, Precious Achiuwa saw minutes early. Goran Dragic also was inserted early with the Heat looking for instant offense. Jimmy was also solid on both ends, scoring on some nice drives in an effort to chip away at the lead. The Heat’s second unit managed to put together a 7-0 run to chip away at the lead somewhat.
The Heat would go into the second down 8.
Boston would continue to run up the score off a Tatum jumper to start the second. But on the other end, Goran flexed his new lob skills for a Bam slam.
Like in the first, the Heat struggled to score from the field despite decent looks whereas the Celtics continued their hot shooting to take a 13 point lead. With four minutes played in the second, the Heat only scored 2 points.
It’s strange. Miami’s offense was so fun to watch last season, with a lot of ball movement and cuts. This always led to open looks and usually a barrage of threes. This season there seems to be no motion to the offense. Shots are being forced and when they’re not, they’re missing them.
Struggling, Jimmy rolled his right ankle again this time on the foot of Marcus Smart. He stayed in and contributed reaching double digits. Jimmy willed an 11-2 run to bring the Heat back in it. Pure grit.
We know what a good scorer he can be, but he’s equally as good a playmaker and did a good job getting the other guys involved. The Heat would go into the second half down only 8 after Herro was fouled on a full-court heave to end the half.
Jaylen Brown would open up the third with an easy layup, but Bam followed up with a nice alley top tip-in.
Duncan would also hit his 300th three-point shot setting an NBA record as the fastest to ever do it. Kelly would follow it with one of his own to create an 8-0 run for the Heat.
With the Heat within striking distance it was Jimmy Butler who would give Miami its first lead of the game off a hard drive and floater. He’d score again on another layup to run the lead up a little bit. He was also great on defense doing what he does making steals. Even with a sore ankle, he showed why he’s Miami’s main guy.
The lead would switch back and forth often with the game so close. Kelly Olynyk hit his third triple to get the Heat ahead once again. It’s nice seeing Kelly actually having a cemented role. He’s a good player when he gets the minutes.
Achiuwa and Williams would trade dunks to keep the game tied up. The Heat reserves were very solid, but still, the game would remain tied going into the fourth.
Bam started this quarter with a beautiful drive to the rim to take the lead. On the following possession, he’d score on a great midrange look.
The Heat looked like a different team in the fourth, attacking hard and actually hitting their shots. Still, turnover issues reared their ugly head and allowed the Celtics to steal back the lead. The lead would once again continue to alternate.
Jimmy continued to do work inside as he attempted to put a dagger in the Celtics. His ability to get to the line is spectacular and very helpful in close games.
Still, the Celtics didn’t go away, cutting the Heat lead to just one. They’d eventually tie it up and take the lead off an 11-0 scoring run.
With things looking bleak Duncan hit two huge threes in a row. He even got fouled on one to make it a four-point play and the Heat a 7-0 run. On the next offensive possession, Goran hit a huge three to tie things up. It was looking like a trip to overtime was coming.
Unfortunately, rookie, Payton Pritchard would give Boston a 2 point lead with .2 seconds left. The Heat went to a tip-in play to tie the game, but it was too late. The Celtics would win by 2.
They’ll get another chance against Boston on Sunday.