Twice in as many games, the Boston Celtics took on the Miami Heat. And in the both of those games, the C’s earned a narrow victory.
After beating the Heat in Boston 110-105 on Monday, the C’s snuck past Miami 112-102 on Wednesday at AmericanAirlines Arena in the second leg of the home-and-home.
It was an even affair from start to finish, with the biggest lead of the game only being 10, with six ties and eight lead changes.
Gordon Hayward scored a game-high 25 points. Kyrie Irving (23 points), Al Horford (21), Jayson Tatum (16) and Aron Baynes (10) also scored in double figures.
Dion Waiters had 21 points and was one of six Heat to post double-digit scoring.
With the win, the Celtics climb to 47-32, while the Heat fall to 38-40 with the loss. with the Indiana Pacers also winning Wednesday, the Celtics maintain their ownership of the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.
Here’s how it all went down.
PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: Marcus Smart
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Al Horford
C: Aron Baynes
C’S START HOT, THEN COOL DOWN
Despite a good start for the Celtics, they finished the first quarter down 31-29.
Similarly to Monday’s game, the Celtics came out of the gate hot, scoring nine unanswered points in the first 1:59. However, the Heat again did a nice job of not folding, chipping away until they tied it up at 25 with 2:31 left. The two sides then traded chances the rest of the stanza.
Irving led all players with 10 points in the quarter.
CELTICS TAKE CONTROL
The Celtics started to show a little more life in the second quarter, outscoring Miami 24-18 in the stanza to head into the half ahead 53-49.
Neither side could create much separation in the period, but five unanswered points late in the half allowed them to go ahead by eight, their biggest lead since the first quarter, with just under a minute left.
Irving and Hayward led all players with 12 and 10 points, respectively, in the half.
The Celtics were outscored 32-30 in the third quarter, but carried an 83-81 lead into the fourth.
The tenor of the first half continued in the second, with neither side being able to establish an even somewhat commanding lead. A 6-0 stretch for the Celtics shortly before the midway point of the quarter was the biggest run either team put together, putting Boston ahead by seven at that point.
For much of the back half of the quarter, the Celtics kept their advantage around five points, but they conceded the frame’s final four points to let the Heat pull within one possession just before the buzzer.
BOSTON CLOSES DOOR
The Celtics earned the victory after outscoring the hosts 29-21 in the final frame.
During the middle stages of the frame, Tatum dropped nine consecutive points for the Celtics as they built a bit of a cushion. Tatum capped his run with a nice layup with 4:56 left, which put the Celtics ahead 100-94.
An Irving free throw with 2:50 left in the game put the Celtics up by 10, their biggest lead of the game. Though the Heat pulled back within six, they never could get closer the rest of the way.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Horford has been pretty sharp lately.
The Celtics will conclude their road trip with a big matchup against the Indiana Pacers on Friday. Tip from Bankers Life Fieldhouse is set for 8 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images
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