Keys to the Game
Key Moment
Key Player
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night

Key Moment

There's an old NBA adage that "every NBA team makes its run" and it almost always applies unless a game is a complete blowout.

Sunday's game in Miami wasn't a blowout, but the Celtics never really made their run. And after jumping out to a 2-0 lead to start the game, it never really felt like the Celtics were in this one, despite Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh both sitting it out with injuries.

Marcus Smart made his first career start at point guard Sunday night, and the opening minutes weren't quite what he imagined. The Celtics gave up nine straight points after that first basket, and found themselves trying to play catch up with double-digit leads most of the night. Turnovers hurt the Celtics early, and the game never really felt close.

Smart's box score line wasn't awe inspiring (three points, four rebounds, four assists and two turnovers in just over 28 minutes) and Jared Sullinger noted that the rookie looked "jittery" in the opening minutes. Given that Brad Stevens made it clear that tonight's lineup wasn't necessarily permanent, it will be interesting to see who gets the nod at the point Tuesday night in Orlando.

The Celtics did knock the lead down to five early in the third quarter, but Miami quickly responded with a 9-0 run to quell the rally. So maybe that's the Key Moment.

Key Player

Tyler Zeller seems to get better every week, which is an encouraging sign. The Celtics' starting center played a strong game in the paint, establishing his position early and making quick, decisive moves to the hoop when the ball came his way. Zeller finished with 22 points, 13 of which came in his 6-for-8 third quarter.

While some speculated that Zeller would miss Rajon Rondo's playmaking ability, Rondo's absence didn't seem to impact Zeller's work in the paint. Integrating three new players into the offense may have changed Zeller's role slightly, but he's not concerned about the roster shake up for the long haul.

"Hopefully over the next few games we can get more and more comfortable, but I don't think you can blame the loss on that," Zeller said.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Both teams connected on six 3-pointers Sunday night.
  • Brandan Wright scored six points in 13:24 of action in his Celtics debut.
  • Kelly Olynyk scored 13 points on 13 shots.
  • Jae Crowder was the only Celtics player who didn't score a point; Crowder took two shots in just over seven minutes of PT.
  • Miami took great care of the ball, turning it over just 11 times all night. The Celtics committed four of their 15 turnovers in the first quarter.
  • The Celtics did move the ball reasonably well, as six players contributed three or more assists, and the C's finished with 22 dimes overall.
  • The Celtics grabbed 14 offensive rebounds, five of which belonged to Zeller.
  • Crowder and Brandon Bass were the only Celtics who played but did not commit a turnover.

Quote of the Night

"The time has been limited, but we are professionals. We know what to do. We have to come out here and do the best we can. I look forward to getting better each and every game."

Brandan Wright after his first game with the Celtics.

Key Player
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