With first place in reach, the Boston Celtics sweep the Miami Heat 112-108

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Celtics finally were able to put together multiple defensive stops forcing ten total turnovers, cutting the lead down to five.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Boston was able to hold onto the victory with Crowder's game-sealing free throws, tying them for first place in the conference.

Players of the Game: Jae Crowder (26pts/6rebs) Isaiah Thomas (30pts)

Photo Credit: Brain Babineau

Follow Spencer Tawes on Twitter: @SWTawes