Avery Bradley wasn’t pleased with how the Boston Celtics played in Sunday’s loss to the Orlando Magic.
So, he decided to take matters into his own hands.
The Celtics shooting guard tallied a team-high 25 points — including 17 in the second half — and made several clutch plays down the stretch to help Boston earn a 105-95 win over the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena.
Boston led by as many as 12 points in the second half, but the Heat came storming back in the fourth quarter thanks to a monster effort from Dwyane Wade, who scored a game-high 30 points. A pair of clutch 3-pointers from Jared Sullinger and Jae Crowder proved just enough to help Boston secure its 10th win of the season, however.
Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson, Jared Sullinger
ON THE RUN
The Celtics are at their best when they push the pace, and that’s exactly what they did in the first quarter.
Boston dropped 32 points in 12 minutes on the NBA’s second-ranked defense with the help of some up-tempo play. They tallied three steals in the quarter — two of which led to fast-break layups — and finished the frame on a 21-8 run.
TURNING THE TIDE
The Heat responded with a run of their own early in the second quarter, but Evan Turner helped keep Miami at bay.
The Celtics swingman did a little bit of everything in the first half, tallying eight points, one assist, one rebound and three steals before the break. He played solid help defense and sparked Boston’s offense by making plays like this:
BIG SHOT BRADLEY
The Heat threatened to regain the lead with several offensive bursts in the second half, but Bradley answered every time with some clutch shooting.
After Wade rattled off eight consecutive Heat points to cut the deficit to three, Bradley drilled a 3-pointer from the corner to double Boston’s lead. Then, with the Celtics leading by just one early in the fourth, the 25-year-old drilled one from the parking lot:
Bradley even came up clutch on the defensive end, denying Wade with a crucial block with one minute remaining in the game:
START ME UP
The Celtics’ starters did it all Monday night.
All five of Boston’s starters finished in double figures in an impressively balanced attack. On the flipside, though, just three players on the Celtics’ bench made the score sheet, with the starters outscoring the bench 84-21.
PLAY OF THE NIGHT
Isaiah Thomas ended the first quarter with a mean left-handed hook shot at the buzzer.
“You boys like Mexico?” The Celtics will head south of the border Thursday to take on old friend Rajon Rondo and the Sacramento Kings in Mexico City as part of the NBA Global Games 2015. Tipoff at Mexico City Arena is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Robert Mayer/USA TODAY Sports Images