Celtics Wrap: Shorthanded Heat Deal Boston Deflating 90-89 Loss

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The Miami Heat have the Boston Celtics’ number.

Miami ended Boston’s 16-game winning streak earlier this season, and despite missing Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside and Justise Winslow on Wendesday, the Heat still were able to get the best of the Celtics at TD Garden.

Kelly Olynyk scored a career-high 32 points in his return to TD Garden, going 12-for-15 from the floor and 6-for-8 from the 3-point line to lift the Heat to a 90-89 win.

Kyrie Irving led the Celtics with 33 points, but Boston failed to get into any sort of rhytym against the shorthanded Heat. Jaylen Brown (16 points), Marcus Smart (15 points) and Jayson Tatum (11 points) also scored in double figures, but Al Horford only scored six points before fouling out, and Irving missed the game-winning shot at the buzzer.

The Celtics fell to 26-8 with the loss, while the Heat improved to 16-15.

Here’s how it all went down:

STARTING FIVE
PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: Jaylen Brown
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Al Horford
C: Aron Baynes

INJURY SCARE
Celtics fans were holding their collective breath during the first quarter, when Tatum dove for a ball and suffered a dislocated right pinky finger. The rookie forward headed straight to the locker room but returned to the bench before the end of the frame.

STRONG START
The C’s got off to a hot start against the shorthanded Heat, as Brown tallied 12 points in the opening quarter to lead Boston to a 24-15 lead after the first frame. The Celtics held Miami to 36.8 percent from the field and 0-for-6 from 3-point land in the period. Despite Boston’s hot start, the Heat pulled within six before Smart canned a deep trey at the buzzer to push the lead to nine.

ROUGH SECOND
Boston had a chance to stretch its lead, but the Celtics let the Heat hang around as they only made five field goals in the first nine minutes of the quarter, two of which came courtesy of Guerschon Yabusele. The Dancing Bear knocked down two 3-pointers in the frame and busted out his celebratory dab after the second trey.

Miami stayed within arm’s length in the first half, thanks to eight points from Josh Richardson and seven from Olynyk. Jordan Mickey, another former Celtic, cut the lead to six with 21 seconds to go before the half, but Irving beat the buzzer with a tough floater to stretch it to eight at the break.

Irving and Brown led the C’s with 12 points apiece in the half.

HEATIN’ UP
Despite missing three of its best players, Miami continued to push the Celtics and finally took the lead midway through the third quarter. Miami made just one 3-pointer in the first half, but the Heat knocked down three treys during a 22-7 run to open the quarter to take a 58-51 lead.

Boston closed the frame on an 8-4 run thanks to a pair of Smart 3-pointers to trim the lead to three heading into the fourth.

MIAMI SEALS IT
Boston continued to battle in the fourth quarter, but the C’s were unable to stop the Heat down the stretch. 3-pointers by Wayne Ellington and Olynyk stretched the lead to 12 midway through the fourth, leading to a Brad Stevens timeout.

The stoppage gave the C’s a bit of life as Boston cut the lead to four following two treys from Smart and a one from Irving. Richardson and Olynyk responded to push the lead to nine with 2:30 to play.

But Boston had one last run. Irving drove to the lane, drew the foul and finished at the rim to cut the lead to six. After Brown blocked Dion Waiters on the ensuing possession, Irving found the second-year forward for a wide-open trey to cut it to three. The deficit remained at three with 37 seconds to play when Irving cut it to one with a slick layup.

Boston had a chanced to win the game with 6.8 seconds left, but Irving’s buzzer-beating attempt clanked off the rim to give the Heat a one-point win.

HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME
Tatum seems to be OK.

UP NEXT
The Celtics will take the floor again Thursday when they visit the New York Knicks. Tip-off from Madison Square Garden is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images

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