The Celtics followed up a comfortable win over the Orlando Magic with a blowout victory over the Miami Heat on Thursday night, a 95-78 final at FTX Arena. The Celtics came back from an early six-point deficit to play stout defense and pull away in the second quarter, as Miami went cold for a long stretch.
With the game tied 31-31 in the second, the Celtics ripped off a 20-2 run to take a 51-33 lead to halftime. The Heat missed 10 straight shot attempts in a span of 5:38, as the Celtics made 10 straight free throws and scored five from the field over the same timeframe.
The Heat were able to whittle the lead down to eight in the third quarter, but the C’s broke off another 11-1 run after that to extend their lead back to 18 entering the fourth. Jayson Tatum, who didn’t score until early in the fourth, led the way in the final quarter with all 10 of his points. It was a quiet night overall for Tatum, who shot 3-for-13 from the floor.
The Celtics dominated despite no one scoring more than Jaylen Brown’s 17 points. Five players scored in double digits, including three off the bench. Dennis Schröder scored 14, while Aaron Nesmith added 13 and Romeo Langford chipped in 12. Five players made at least two three-pointers, as the C’s shot 39 percent as a team from beyond the arc (16-for-41).
Miami, meanwhile, shot an abysmal 34.6 percent as a team, and only 22 percent from three (9-for-41). Jimmy Butler led the team with 20 points on 44.4 percent shooting.
Brown left the game early in the fourth quarter with what the team is calling a right hamstring injury. Miami’s Kyle Lowry also had to leave the game with an ankle injury.
The Celtics get right back to it on Saturday, when their road trip continues against the Dallas Mavericks.
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Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.