Rapid Recap is designed for the busiest of Celtics fans. Whether you can’t stay awake to read 10 paragraphs or your hangover is just too much, Rapid Recap tells the timeline of the game in only a minute or two.
The Miami Heat have been one of the best home teams this season, having lost just twice before facing the visiting Celtics on Tuesday.
Now they have three losses. And the Celtics are 2-0 against the Heat this season and at 31-15 are just one-half game back of them in the standings.
Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown combined for 54 points on 20-of-30 shooting, and Daniel Theis added 10 points and 11 rebounds, leading the Celtics to a 109-101 in Miami. Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart struggled with their shooting (combined 8-of-32) but came through with key plays in crunch time. The Heat kept the game close throughout, but the Celts led almost the entire way.
Boston was still without Jayson Tatum and Enes Kanter, and Javonte Green was also out. Miami was on the second night of a back-to-back and was without starting point guard Kendrick Nunn.
A nice but double-edged look at the quick start the Celtics got off to:
Indeed, Miami went on a mini-run after Boston pushed it from 8-0 to 13-4, quickly getting themselves into the double digits. The Cs stuck closely enough to the Heat on the defensive end of things and rode strong offense from Jaylen and Gordon to keep the gap alive.
It wasn’t all roses, of course:
But a quick pair of Kemba jumpers brought the Cs to a solid lead at the end of the game’s first 12 minutes.
Dion Waiters, recently suspended after a fiasco with weed gummies, somehow wormed his way back into the Miami lineup and immediately started jacking long jumpers.
But seriously: If anything was going to be a negative X-factor (for the Celtics) it’d be Bam Adebayo. Moreover, Boston’s players in this quarter seemed utterly baffled by Erik Spoelstra ordering Miami to run standard zone defense:
It was more some bizarre goofy errors that kept Miami from holding their lead, not to mention defense like this:
Theis continuing his run of strong play over these past several games:
Speaking of Kemba:
DEFENSIVE MAESTRO KEMBA WALKER; you love to see it but fear slightly for the integrity of his 6’1″ and 190 lb. frame.
Yet they still held a narrow 53-48 lead rolling into halftime. Something to ponder:
Third quarter had this pretty play.
This is a lowlight, but listen to Brad coaching.
Gordo and Jaylen combined for 17 points in the third quarter, which ended well.
Fourth quarter, Grant had a putback that gave Boston an 8-point lead.
But the refs were picking on Grant, and Coach Stevens would have none of it.
(The challenge failed, dammit.)
Miami had closed to within 5 points with 2 minutes to play when Smart beat the shot clock with a crucial 3; stripped Adebayo’s layup attempt; then swatted out a Celtics miss to keep possession and force the Heat to foul.
After that sequence, the Cs led by 9 with just 27 seconds left. Ballgame.