It’s been nearly a month since the Miami Heat put an end to the Boston Celtics’ early winning streak. During that game, Goran Dragic had 27 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and one steal while Kyrie Irving finished with 23 points, one rebound, 3 assists, and 3 steals. Since then, the Celtics have been 10-4 in the league while the Miami Heat were 7-6. The Celtics would look to grab their third straight win as they host the Heat, who are hoping to avoid a second straight loss. The Heat and the Celtics have battled each other a total of 132 times in the past as the Celtics pulled 78 wins while the Heat won 54 games.
Gordon Hayward (ankle; 2.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 50.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Marcus Morris (knee; 12.1 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.6 APG, 41.2 FG%, 32.8 3P%)
Abdel Nader (coach’s decision; 1.6 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 0.3 APG, 35.7 FG%, 28.6 3P%)
Jabari Bird (G-League; 1.7 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 0.3 APG, 25.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Kadeem Allen (G-League; 1.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
James Johnson (ankle; 10.9 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 4.1 APG, 49.4 FG%, 32.4 3P%)
Rodney McGruder (leg)
Okaro White (foot; 3.3 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.3 APG, 43.8 FG%, 36.4 3P%)
Hassan Whiteside (knee; 14.9 PPG, 12.7 RPG, 0.4 APG, 58.1 FG%, 100.0 3P%)
Justise Winslow (knee; 6.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.9 APG, 42.6 FG%, 39.0 3P%)
Goran Dragic (elbow; 16.6 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 4.4 APG, 44.4 FG%, 38.1 3P%)
Matt Williams (coach’s decision)
A.J. Hammons (G-League)
The game would begin competitive as the Celtics shot thirty-nine percent from the field in the first half while the Heat shot thirty-eight percent. Jaylen Brown scored 12 points which included two three-pointers in the first quarter. He also had two defensive rebounds as Kyrie Irving earned 12 points of his own with four rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block. Al Horford would settle for five points as he collected five rebounds. Marcus Smart played 17 minutes off of the bench but was just kept to a three-pointer at the end of the first quarter.
Josh Richardson chalked up eight points as he shot twenty-nine percent from the field. Kelly Olynyk would end up with 7 points as he connected for a three-pointer early in the second quarter. He also had three defensive rebounds while Dion Waiters gathered up six points and two assists. Wayne Ellington played the most minutes off of the bench but was kept to just two points as the home team went into the locker room with a 44-36 advantage.
The South Beach team would respond as they shot fifty percent from the field in the second half, limiting the Boston Celtics to thirty-six percent. Kelly Olynyk would get extremely hot as he scored 25 points which included five three-pointers. He also managed to get his hands on four defensive rebounds while Richardson contributed with 11 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists. Tyler Johnson chalked up only three points in the 21 minutes that he played but he did manage to grab 9 rebounds. Ellington played 16 minutes off of the bench as he had seven points.
As for the Boston team, Irving collected a huge 21 points on forty-six percent shooting. Smart played the most minutes off of the bench as he scored 12 points but it was the Miami Heat would manage to pull away with a 90-89 win over the Celtics. Kelly Olynyk finished the game with a career-high 32 points, along with 7 rebounds, 2 assists, one steal, and one block. Kyrie Irving had 33 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, one steal, and one block.
The Boston Celtics will travel to New York to take on Kristaps Porzingis (25.5 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.3 APG, 47 FG%) and the New York Knicks (16-14) on Thursday at 8:00 p.m. This matchup will mark the second of four games between these two balls clubs this season. The Celtics and the Knicks have battled each other a total of 535 times as the Knicks won 211 games while the Celtics ended up winning 324 games. The last time they met up was on October 24 when the Celtics handed the Knicks a 110-89 blowout loss. In that game, Jaylen Brown scored 23 points, pulled down 4 rebounds, committed one steal, and blocked one shot. Enes Kanter had 16 points, 19 rebounds, and one block.
The Miami Heat will host Harrison Barnes (18.3 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 2.1 APG, 44 FG%) and the Dallas Mavericks (8-23) on Friday at 8:00 p.m. The game will mark the first of two matchups between these two teams this season. The Heat and the Mavericks have played each other a total of 73 times as the Heat won 36 games while the Mavericks took 37 games.