A tough defensive game in South Beach Miami, the red hot Celtics continue their winning streak through 4 games, as point guard Kyrie Irving led the unselfish C’s with 24 points and winning by a final score of 96-90.
A low scoring affair, both squads had turnover issues along with poor shooting slumps, but made up for it with impressive defenses. Combining for 11 steals on Miami, Boston had the early momentum with point guard Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart constantly in the faces of Goran Dragic and several others forcing crucial turnovers. Dragic was the team leader in points with 22 and consistently drove to the hoop forcing the Celtics defense to close in quickly, but Dragic made nifty moves to avoid the block and draw fouls. Fellow teammates Dion Waiters and Justice Winslow contributed early on, more of Waiters, and they ended up combining for 11 points but made up with Winslow grabbing 12 boards to help stretch the floor and use his multi position athleticism to help secure baskets in transition. Forward James Johnson is a key big man for this Heat team, dropping 16 points and ripping down 5 boards. Former Celtics center Kelly Olynyk made his short awaited debut versus his old team, scoring 14 points and grabbing 9 rebounds in 24 minutes.
For the C’s, winning four straight is a definite confident booster, but shows how balanced this team is early on in the season without star wing player Gordon Hayward. Point guard Kyrie Irving scored 24 in 34 minutes while upcoming forward Jayson Tatum continues to showcase his talent, scoring 20 points and grabbing 5 rebounds in 31 minutes. What may be the most impressive is the efficiency of Tatum’s shots. Going 6-9 from the field and sinking both threes he shot on 2 attempts, Tatum had an almost perfect statistical night to go with shooting 6-7 from the free throw line. Fellow big man Al Horford continues to be the glue of Boston, scoring 12 points but coming up big on the glass with 9 boards. Finding the open man while spreading the floor, the passing abilities from Horford is vital on the offensive ends while creating key plays on defense to allow other players to get towards the hoop. Another big surprise was the big game from guard Marcus Smart, finishing with 16 points while matching up against multiple Heat players on defense.
Next game- Monday 10/30 vs San Antonio