Olynyk, Moser Lead C's to Win over Heat
ORLANDO – The Boston Celtics came up clutch on Saturday to open up their summer league schedule with an 85-77 victory over the Miami Heat. Boston finished the contest on an 18-10 run following a 67-67 tie with 5:46 remaining.
Mike Moser, a 6-foot-8 forward out of Oregon, was the key cog in Boston’s strong finish. He nailed a 3-pointer to break the 67-67 tie and scored eight of the team’s final 18 points.
Moser, however, didn’t give the C’s the win by himself. Kelly Olynyk and Marcus Smart each contributed four points during the game-winning run, while Phil Pressey scored two. The Celtics shot 5-of-10 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free-throw line to close the game.
Neither team could separate itself from the other prior to Boston’s fourth-quarter run. The game featured 22 lead changes and 12 ties, and the final margin of eight points stood as the largest of the morning.
The close game got off to an interesting start. Colton Iverson, who started at center for the Celtics, flew out to the left wing and picked off a pass on the perimeter. The 7-footer promptly took the ball the length of the court and threw down a fast break dunk to open up the contest’s scoring.
Iverson’s frontcourt partner, Kelly Olynyk, stood out for the remainder of the quarter. He scored six points in the period and also grabbed three rebounds. Dairis Bertans also scored six points for the C’s during the period, but Miami shot 50 percent from the field to take a 21-20 lead into the second.
Boston caught its groove midway through the next period when it strung together a 6-0 run to take the largest lead of the morning to that point, at 31-25. Moser opened the spurt with two free throws, Phil Pressey added a driving layup and Chris Johnson tacked on two more points from the charity stripe.
Miami didn’t allow that 6-0 run to take the wind out of its sails. The Heat responded with a 7-0 run of their own, all from the free-throw line, to jump back on top 32-31. The visitors closed out the quarter on a 13-4 run to take a 38-35 lead into the locker room.
The Celtics’ starting backcourt of Pressey and Smart helped the team retake the lead shortly into the third quarter. Smart nailed two free throws, his first points of the game, to open up Boston’s second-half scoring. Pressey then made a running layup and Smart tacked on two more free throws to put Boston on top 41-40. The Celtics maintained a small lead for the majority of the third period and led 58-54 after three quarters.
Miami went on a 10-0 run early in the fourth quarter to take a 64-60 lead but Boston’s defense locked down from that point on. The C’s defense forced the Heat into seven turnovers and 5-of-12 shooting over the final eight minutes of the game.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the court, Moser, Olynyk, Smart and Pressey powered the Celtics to the win with their scoring. Olynyk finished the contest with a game-high 20 points to go along with a team-high eight rebounds. Moser wasn’t far behind in the scoring column with his 17 points off of the bench.
Boston will look to improve to 2-0 when it next plays at 3 p.m. on Tuesday against the Indiana Pacers. The Celtics will practice on Sunday during one of their two scheduled off days in Orlando.