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Heat beat Celtics in nail-biter 106-98

The Heat and Celtics went back and forth the whole game, but it was the Heat who’d ultimately close out and take the win.

Miami Heat v Boston Celtics Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

First Half:

Miami was in a rhythm early going on an 8-3 run to start the game. Spo’s decision to go back to the older rotations has been successful so far, with the team looking a lot more comfortable than they did in the 4 game losing streak. Miami’s defense was also solid as they disrupted the Celtics to cause turnovers and throw off their rhythm. Still, they didn’t fall far behind with Jaylen Brown carrying the team scoring their first 11 points.

The Heat and Celtics alternated leads often in a close first quarter, but it was the Celtics who’d take a six-point lead into the second on a small run built on transition buckets and Jayson Tatum. After a strong first quarter, this wasn’t how the Heat wanted to end things until Tyler hit a last-second three to cut the lead to six robbing Boston of momentum.

Jimmy struggled to score to start the second as did the rest of the Heat. He’d eventually get it going though, but Theis and the Celtics continued to build on their lead. Luckily, Duncan Herro pulled Miami right back within striking distance. The Celtics left no room for error taking advantage of as many Miami errors as possible to take the lead once again. It was Herro who’d carry the Miami offense for the majority of the second, but even with key contributions by Kyle Lowry to get things within one Boston’s ability to create scoring runs ravaged the Heat. In what had become the theme of the game, Miami ended the half clawing their way back to take the lead on a 9-1 run.

Second Half:

The third quarter started once again with a lot of back and forth action, but Lowry briefly caught fire allowing Miami to get ahead seven. Bam, Strus, and Jimmy scored well to keep the Heat ahead. But Boston’s resilient defense kept them in the hunt, and they’d come roaring back on a 16-0 run to steal back the lead. Miami’s offense had a ton of peaks and valleys in this one, but it always seemed to be either Tyler or Kyle who’d settle things back. Brown and Tatum continued to wreak havoc on Miami’s defense, but it was really turnovers that acted as the Heat’s main weakness. Still, even with some terrible possessions, Miami would go into the fourth down only four.

It was Dedmon who’d tie the game up once again in the fourth, and come up with some key steals. Miami’s 2-3 zone also seemed to really disrupt the flow of the Celtics’ offense, offering Miami a chance to make a run. The Heat didn’t capitalize instead allowing Jaylen Brown, and Daniel Theis to pull Boston out in front once again. Max Strus, and Butler hit some huge shots around the 5:20 mark. That coupled with Bam getting himself to the line allowed Miami to get ahead, but still, things remained uncomfortably close.

Miami had some huge stops down the stretch (we see you Max Strus), and though they struggled to convert on the other end initially they’d extend the lead slightly with some big buckets from Lowry and Jimmy. The Heat struggled in key possessions down the stretch, but with 33.6 seconds left and Miami ahead four, Strus drew a huge charge on Tatum to give Miami a shot to seal the game. Bam would go 3/4 from the line to end things in a huge Heat win.