The Boston Celtics came into Sunday's game against the Miami Heat looking to try and move up in the standings. Cleveland left the door open for the C's to potentially tie them for the best overall record in the East. With that in mind, Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside won't make that task any easier on coach Brad Stevens. As the Heat are trying to lock up a playoff seeding for themselves.
Avery Bradley, who spent Friday night in the hospital, returns for the Celtics tonight against Miami.— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) March 26, 2017
The starting unit for the Celtics came out a bit slow, struggling to score early on. The team only shot 1-6 in the first three mintues of the quarter. Miami's solid defense forced Stevens to call a quick timeout with the C's down, 8-3.
Not the best shot selection early from the Celtics. A few off-the-dribble 3-point attempts. Crowder with a wild fling in traffic. 1 for 6— Jay King (@ByJayKing) March 26, 2017
Following the break in play, both teams starting scoring as the offenses picked up. Jae Crowder led all scorers with 7 points in the quarter as the second unit started making their way into the game. Miami kept up the intensity, controlling the game with a lead of 27-22.
Marcus at the buzzer!!! pic.twitter.com/Avj4e04Tq2— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 26, 2017
A MARCUS SMART END-OF-QUARTER HEAVE WENT IN WHERE AM I AND WHAT IS HAPPENING— Jay King (@ByJayKing) March 26, 2017
Marcus Smart hits a running 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the 1st qtr, but the Celtics trail the Heat, 27-22. Jae Crowder: 7 pts 2 rebs.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 26, 2017
The second quarter wasn't much different from the first, Boston has been unable to get any kind of needed run going. With nine mintues left in the half, Miami jumped out to their first double-digit lead of the game. Boston also started to pile up the turnovers with eight total up to this point. The lead continued to grow all the way up to fifteen, 43-28.
Celtics 4-13 in 17 games this year when trailing by 15+. https://t.co/XbciNhwOX6— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) March 26, 2017
12 point off TOs and the Cs are down 11...nothing like beating yourself!— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) March 26, 2017
The Celtics finally were able to put together multiple defensive stops forcing ten total turnovers, cutting the lead down to five.
With small lineups, the Celtics have gone from looking totally uninterested to forcing turnovers almost every possession.— Jay King (@ByJayKing) March 26, 2017
Celtics now on a 12-2 run that has included a lot of Isaiah free throws.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) March 26, 2017
Miami fought back from the Celtics, 12-2 run, bringing their lead back to ten. This was the followed by back-to-back threes from Amir Johnson and Crowder. Miami finished the half with 58-53 advantage over the C's.
Boston heads into halftime trailing the Heat, 58-53. Jae Crowder leads Celtics scorers with 12 points. IT is right behind him with 10 points pic.twitter.com/C3DtxMdKur— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 26, 2017
Boston had the right game plan coming out of halftime, tying the game with their first two possessions of the third. IT was then able to give the Celtics their first taste of the lead with a nice transition triple.
Horford ➡️ IT 3️⃣ pic.twitter.com/vuVzMMKANS— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 26, 2017
Al Horford the playmaker can be a real sight to see. Now 6 points, 7 assists, 8 rebounds for him.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) March 26, 2017
Both Miami and Boston were going back and forth for most of the third. Thomas continued to hit his shots, leading the Celtics with 22 points. Ending the quarter Boston was able to pull away with a 10-point advantage.
Celtics are on a 51-30 run since midway through the second quarter.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) March 26, 2017
The C's outscored Miami, 32-17 during the 3Q and head into the 4th with an 85-75 lead. IT leads the game with 22 pts & Jae has 20 of his own— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 26, 2017
The fourth quarter began with some very questionable fouls in favor of Miami. Two and-ones and a pair of free throws brought the Heat back into the game.
Get up, young fella! 💪 pic.twitter.com/SQSGByASMg— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 26, 2017
With 7 mintues left, Miami cut the score to 94-92 as Isaiah entered the game. A lot of talking between Marcus Smart and the Heat players started to ensue mid-way through the fourth. Just something worth noting as the teams get ready to battle for the last few mintues.
Well after both teams gave up double-digit leads, it's 99-99 with 4:55 left.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) March 27, 2017
Tyler Johnson continued to go off, scoring 24 for the game and giving Miami a two-point lead. Crowder then drilled a clutch shot from beyond the arc, after a key Horford offensive rebound.
Man, some of the layups Isaiah Thomas makes just don't seem like they should be possible.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) March 27, 2017
With a minute left Isaiah hit the 30-point mark, thanks in part by a ridiculously important Marcus Smart winning play, 108-106 C's.
Down the stretch Smart went on to hit two key free throws, one of which off a goal tend from Whiteside.
Goaltending stands on Marcus Smart's missed free throw. Looks like right call. Pretty big for Celtics. 110-106 Bos. 20.1 left.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) March 27, 2017
Boston was able to hold onto the victory with Crowder's game-sealing free throws, tying them for first place in the conference.
The Celtics hold off the Heat, 112-108, behind Isaiah Thomas' 30 points. Jae Crowder finished with a season-high 25 points. pic.twitter.com/RVaRxqlddG— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 27, 2017
Players of the Game: Jae Crowder (26pts/6rebs) Isaiah Thomas (30pts)
Photo Credit: Brain Babineau
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Spencer Tawes 3/26/2017 08:40:00 PM Tweet Edit