Celtics fall to Heat, 83-75 in Boston

Poor shooting marred Sunday's tilt against Miami.
Today marked the fifth time the Celtics have played before a Super Bowl involving the Patriots. Boston won the previous four, but the trend stopped tonight as Boston fell, 83-75.

Boston's characteristic scoring struggles continued with the starters out of the gate. The second quarter was not much different, and by halftime the Celtics' shooting numbers were simply atrocious. As a team, Boston shot 32% (13-41) from the field and just 10% (1-10) from three. They only shot six free throws (making four of them), leaving a lot to be desired.

Perhaps the only positive takeaway in the opening half was the first decent run of simultaneous playing time for James Young (2 points, 2 rebounds at half) and Marcus Smart (0 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 sick block at half). The Celts trailed midway through the game, 31-44.

What looked like an entirely different Boston team came out scorching hot to start the third quarter, making each of their first seven shots. After going 0-6 in the first half Turner was strapped to the bench in favor of Smart. Leading the team back to some inspired play, Smart and Bradley helped bring the game back to within a few points before the fourth.

With Bosh having an off night, the Hassan Whiteside-led Heat distanced themselves in the final quarter. Miami's newfound center was deadly from the field, shooting 10 for 17 for 20 points to go with 9 rebounds and 3 blocks. Chris Bosh shot just 6-19 for 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 turnovers.

Avery Bradley led the effort for the Celts, shooting 8-15 for 17 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Brandon Bass chipped in with 15 points (7-14 from the field) and 6 rebounds in 38 minutes. Marcus Smart shot 1-6 for 3 points, 5 rebounds, and a career high 9 assists.

Tayshaun Prince did not play, causing trade and injury speculation. Stay tuned to CelticsLife for more on Prince.

The Celtics (16-30) take on the Knicks (9-38) at 7:30 PM ET on Tuesday, February 3rd in New York.

Photo courtesy: Brian Babineau