Celtics drop 2nd-straight following 9-game win streak 98-95 in Miami
By TIM REYNOLDS, Associated Press
MIAMI (AP) — Bam Adebayo had 30 points and 15 rebounds, including the jump shot that put Miami ahead to stay with 20.4 seconds remaining, and the Heat rallied from 14 down to beat the Boston Celtics 98-95 on Tuesday night.
Haywood Highsmith had 15 points and 10 rebounds, Max Strus scored 13 points and Victor Oladipo had 12 for the Heat.
A 15-0 run in the fourth quarter lifted the Heat, who split the regular-season series with the Celtics 2-2.
Jayson Tatum finished with 31 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists for the Celtics. Derrick White scored 23 points, and Robert Williams III had 11.
Tyler Herro stole a cross-court pass thrown by Jayson Tatum with just over a second remaining, denying Boston a chance to tie or take the lead.
Highsmith’s free throw with 0.6 seconds left put Miami up by three. Boston called time, and Payton Pritchard’s straightaway 30-footer fell short as time expired.
Boston led 87-77 when Williams got an alley-oop dunk with 8:47 left. The Heat scored the next 15 points while the Celtics missed 10 consecutive shots — but Tatum’s three-point play with 2:19 left stopped both of those runs and got Boston within 92-90.
Boston was without three would-be starters in Jaylen Brown (right adductor), Al Horford (lower back stiffness) and Marcus Smart (right ankle) — as well as Malcolm Brogdon, out for personal reasons.
Miami played without Jimmy Butler, who sat out with lower back tightness.
Tatum had 21 of his points by intermission, and the Celtics closed the half on an 11-0 run to take a 58-50 lead. Gabe Vincent’s 3-pointer with 6:57 left in the second put Miami up 44-39, but the Heat missed 14 of their next 16 shots to end the half — the only two makes coming on layups.
Boston’s lead would get to 13 in the second half, but Miami rallied.
Celtics: Tatum is averaging 15.3 points in first halves this season, third-best in the NBA behind only Luka Doncic and Joel Embiid. … Boston fell to 7-1 on the second night of back-to-backs this season. The Celtics were the only NBA team entering Tuesday with an unbeaten record in those situations.
Heat: Butler had played in 11 consecutive games, a season-long streak. … Miami (27-22) is a season-high five games over .500. … Kyle Lowry had eight assists and five rebounds for the Heat. … Miami turned the ball over only eight times, and Boston turned those into six points. The Heat turned 17 Celtics turnovers into 17 points.
Including last season’s Eastern Conference finals, the Celtics had won four straight games at Miami — and 13 of their last 16 true road games against the Heat, excluding Miami’s designated home games from the bubble during the 2020 restart.
Celtics: Host New York on Thursday night.
Heat: Host Orlando on Friday night.
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