After taking all four games of their recent homestand, the Boston Celtics were hoping that they could continue their winning ways in Miami Thursday night against the Heat. But it just wasn’t meant to be. They briefly lead the Heat during the opening quarter but were down by four heading into the second—and it just got worse from there.
The game remained close early on in the second quarter. But a 15-2 run late in the quarter gave the Heat an 18-point lead, 61-43, heading into half time.
Things were not much better for the Celtics at the start of the third. The Heat got off to a fast start and used an 11-3 run to extend the lead out to 26 points about four minutes into the quarter. But the Celtics responded with a run of their own, 16-0, to cut the deficit to ten.
Heading into the fourth, the Celtics were down by 11. But they were unable to close the gap. Miami remained in control of the game the rest of the way and went on to win, 115-99.
The Celtics' 115-99 loss to the Heat is Boston's largest loss of the season.
It's also Miami's third straight win against the C's, after having lost each of the previous eight meetings.
It's the first time the Heat have won three straight against the Celtics since 2006. pic.twitter.com/UZ4nIPqedv
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 11, 2019
It was the first time the Celtics had been held under 100 points since Utah held them to 86 back on November 17.
After the game, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens gave the Heat credit for making the shots when they needed to:
“They really, really shot it and made big ones when we came back in the second half to stymie that. But that’s a result of being comfortable all night.”
Dwyane Wade led the way for the Heat with 19 points off the bench, including eight in the third that helped shut down Boston’s brief attempt at a comeback. Josh Richardson tacked on 18, and Derrick Jones Jr. chipped in 14.
For the Celtics, Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 22 points followed by Marcus Smart with 18 and Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris chipped in 17 each.
With the win, Miami’s record improved to 20-20. They will get a chance to get about .500 Saturday night when they take on the Memphis Grizzlies. Boston will try to get back on the right side of the scoreboard when they face the Magic Saturday in Orlando.