The Miami Heat and Boston Celtics rivalry is one that stems back to the 2010 NBA Playoffs but things have seemed to calm down lately. The Celtics are currently on a 16-game winning streak and they hope to extend it to seventeen as they take on the Heat for the second time this season in South Beach. Last time that these two clubs met up, the Celtics pulled away with a 96 to 90 victory. In that game, Kyrie Irving finished with 24 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and one block. Goran Dragic had 22 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, and one block.
Abdel Nader (coach’s decision; 1.4 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.3 APG, 35.3 FG%, 16.7 3P%)
Guerschon Yabusele (coach’s decision; 2.3 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.2 APG, 45.5 FG%, 33.3 3P%)
Gordon Hayward (ankle; 2.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 50.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Jabari Bird (G-League; 1.5 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Kadeem Allen (G-League)
Bam Adebayo (coach’s decision; 3.5 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 0.0 APG, 50.0 FG%)
Udonis Haslem (coach’s decision; 2.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 100.0 FG%)
Jordan Mickey (coach’s decision; 4.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 0.0 APG, 60.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Derrick Walton (coach’s decision; 1.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%)
AJ Hammons (G-League)
Matt Williams (G-League)
Okaro White (foot; 3.3 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.3 APG, 43.8 FG%, 36.4 3P%)
Rodney McGruder (tibia)
The Miami Heat would open things up the right way as they shot fifty-one percent from the field in the first half, limiting the Boston Celtics to thirty-three percent. Goran Dragic got hot for 20 points as he knocked down two three-pointers in the second quarter. He also had four defensive rebounds and two assists while former Timberwolves guard Wayne Ellington had nine points and four defensive rebounds. Dion Waiters dished off six assists in the half while Hassan Whiteside gathered up five defensive rebounds. Tyler Johnson played 13 minutes off of the Miami beach as he recorded seven points with a three-pointer late in the first quarter.
As for the opposing team, Jayson Tatum scored ten points while collecting five rebounds and three assists. Kyrie Irving settled for nine points on forty-four percent shooting from the field. Al Horford ended up with two points but he would get his hands on two offensive rebounds and three defensive rebounds while blocking one shot. Marcus Smart played the most minutes off of the bench but was just kept at two points as the Heat went into halftime with a huge 54-41 advantage.
The Boston Celtics would hope to come back in the second half as they outscored the home team, 57-50. Kyrie Irving would heat up for fourteen points while shooting fifty-four percent from the field. Marcus Morris chalked up eleven points with seven of them coming from the free-throw line. Horford collected four defensive rebounds while Marcus Smart gave out two kind assists. Terry Rozier played the most minutes off of the bench as he gave five points, three coming from beyond the arc and the other two from the charity stripe.
As for the Florida team, Dion Waiters would score an incredible 18 points while hitting two huge three-pointers late in the fourth quarter. Former Celtics’ player Kelly Olynyk had four rebounds while Whiteside and Justise Winslow had five rebounds each. Tyler Johnson played 15 minutes off of the bench while dropping nine points as the Miami Heat end the Celtics’ winning streak with a 104-98 victory. Goran Dragic finished the game with 27 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal. Kyrie Irving would finish with 23 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists, and 3 steals.
The Miami Heat will visit Minnesota to take on Karl-Anthony Towns (20.4 PPG, 11.5 RPG, 1.4 APG) and the Minnesota Timberwolves (11-7) for the last time this season on Friday at 8:00 p.m. The Heat and the Timberwolves have met up a total of 55 times with the Heat winning 32 games while the Timberwolves won 23 of them. The last time that they battled each other was on October 30 as the Timberwolves pulled away with a 125-122 overtime victory. In that game, Jeff Teague had 23 points, 5 rebounds, 11 assists, and 6 steals while Dion Waiters finished with 33 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals.
The Boston Celtics will host Evan Fournier (19.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.2 APG) and the Orlando Magic (8-10) for the second time this season on Friday at 7:30 p.m. These two clubs have battled it out a total of 125 times with the Celtics winning 69 games while the Magic won 56 games. The last time they met up was on November 5 as the Celtics handed the Magic a 104-88 blowout loss. In that game, Jaylen Brown scored 18 points, pulled down 7 rebounds, dished off 1 assist, and committed 2 steals. Aaron Gordon had 18 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block.