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Despite a furious comeback effort in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, the Celtics weren't able to get it done on Wednesday night and fell to the Miami Heat in a tough one-point defeat. Kelly Olynyk's revenge game was a resounding success, as he scored 32 points on 12/15 shooting while starting in place of the injured Hassan Whiteside.

It was never a high-scoring affair, but Boston started the game well by holding the Heat to just 15 points in the first quarter. Marcus Smart buried one from nearly 30 feet to increase the Celtic lead to nine at the end of the first.



After a buzzer-beating floater by Kyrie Irving, they led by eight at halftime.


The Heat came out firing to start the second half and dominated the third quarter, this time holding the Celtics to 15 points throughout an entire period. They continued to gradually expand their lead until Irving initiated a late Celtic comeback effort with a pull-up jumper at the 2:28 mark in the final quarter. Irving then managed a three-point play, followed by a Jaylen Brown triple. Kelly Olynyk briefly interrupted the Celtics' run with a thunderous yet bizarre dunk in which he violently crashed to the ground immediately after leaving the rim, but quickly got back up and returned to the other end of the floor.


Jaylen Brown was then fouled and sent to the stripe for a pair of free-throws. He made the second but missed the first, and that miss would ultimately prove to be the difference-maker. Boston held off Miami on the following possession, and Irving managed to make a layup with 27 seconds left to bring the Celtics within one. They forced another miss on the defensive end, and Brad Stevens called a timeout with six seconds remaining. Irving got the ball outside the perimeter, attacked, and misfired on a pull-up jumper from the elbow as the buzzer sounded.


Jayson Tatum dislocated his finger in the first quarter but quickly had the injury taped up and returned to the game and threw down a dunk. Here's a look at the injury. It's not for the faintest of heart.


Tatum stated after the game that he plans on playing in Celtics' bout with the Knicks, but Brad Stevens said he'll be "probable or questionable," per Scott Souza of The Providence Journal.

Kelly Olynyk's 32 points was the most he's ever scored in a single game throughout his five-year career. His previous career-high scoring mark was 30 vs. the Philadelphia 76ers on December 15th, 2014.

The Celtics honored Olynyk as their "Hero Among Us" for his charity work during his time in Boston.

Irving led all scorers with 33 points.

Al Horford fouled out after a pair of iffy calls against him with 8:14 to go. He had six points and eight rebounds on an uncharacteristic 2-for-10 shooting performance.

Hassan Whiteside (knee), Goran Dragic (elbow), and Justice Winslow (knee) all sat out for the Heat. Miami only had nine players available, according to Coach Erik Spoelstra.

The Celtics now head to New York for the second game of another back-to-back to face Kristaps Porzingis and the Knicks.


Photo credit: Charles Krupa, Associated Press
Follow Brendan at @brendansanders0

Brendan Sanders 12/21/2017 06:30:00 AM Edit
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