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Celtics embarrass Heat, 95-78

Miami scored just nine points and committed 10 turnovers during a disastrous second quarter.

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The 6-1 Miami Heat came into Thursday night’s home game against the Boston Celtics with the best record in the East.

They didn’t play like it. (Maybe it was the new mashup uniforms?)

In an abysmal game all-around, the Heat scored just nine points in the entire second quarter to fall behind by 18 points entering halftime. Kyle Lowry, who had catalyzed the dynamic Heat offense, couldn’t stop the listless turnovers. In the midst of a 23-3 Celtics run, even Jimmy Butler missed both attempts during a trip to the foul line.

Despite the horrendous play, some baskets from Bam Adebayo and Lowry cut into the deficit in the third quarter. After the referee whistled Marcus Smart for a technical foul, a Jimmy Butler free throw made it a 64-56 game with 2:30 left in the third.

The momentum quickly shifted, though. With 38.5 seconds left, 35-year-old Al Horford drove down the lane for an and-one dunk that should’ve embarrassed everyone on the court. That made it a 72-56 game.

And in the closing seconds of the quarter, Duncan Robinson crashed into Lowry after attempting to draw a charge. Lowry hopped straight to the locker room on one foot and did not return.

The Celtics humbled the Heat in a 95-78 decision that should lead everyone back to the drawing board. Boston defenders were better prepared for Lowry’s quick outlet passes, shutting off a key cog of Miami’s offense.

No one played well tonight. Butler scored 20 points on 8-of-18 shooting, but took four ill-advised attempts from deep, missing all of them. The swingman from Marquette also shot an uncharacteristic 4-of-8 from the foul line. All throughout the last two-plus seasons with the Heat, Butler has steadied the ship of a flounder Heat offense with some easy buckets and made free throws. That didn’t happen Thursday.

Aside from their brief flurries in the third quarter, Lowry and Adebayo also played poorly. Adebayo scored just two points in the first half and committed five turnovers on the night. Lowry shot just 2-of-9 from the field and had six turnovers.

Tyler Herro shot 3-of-11 from the field, went 0-for-4 from deep and was a shocking -32 in his 29 minutes of action. After going on a scoring binge against the Dallas Mavericks just two nights ago, Herro came crashing back to Earth tonight.

Duncan Robinson got up a career-high 17 3-point attempts, but made just five. (Three of them came in the first quarter.) A couple of Robinson’s shots weren’t even close. P.J. Tucker was 1-for-5 from distance. Overall, the Heat shot just 9-of-41 from downtown.

Over the course of an 82-game season, bad losses are inevitable. The Heat will try to right the ship Saturday night against the Utah Jazz.