The Miami Heat were scorching in South Beach Thursday night, as they lit up the Boston Celtics at American Airlines Arena.
It was a tightly-contested battle through the first quarter and a half, but Miami went on a 32-9 run over an eight and a half minute period, of which spanned from the middle of the second quarter into the beginning of the third. That stretch was enough to put Boston away.
Miami was up 40-37 when it started the run at the 4:38 mark of the second frame. From then until halftime, the Heat caught fire, scoring 21 points in roughly a third of a quarter, which allowed them to take a 61-43 lead into the break.
The halftime break didn't slow Miami's momentum in the least, as it picked up in the third quarter right where it left off. The Heat outscored Boston 11-3 to open up the frame, extending their lead to 72-46.
The Celtics would chip away at that 26-point deficit, and were able to pull to within eight points near the end of the third, but they would not get any closer than that. Miami ended up picking the pace back up in the final frame, before cruising to a 115-99 victory.
It was an off night for the Celtics overall, but it was not an off night for their starting point guard. Kyrie Irving led his team in a number of statistical categories Thursday night, as he tried his best to help the team stay afloat.
Irving was the only player on either squad to log more than 20 in the scoring column, as he poured in 22 points on 10-of-19 shooting. He also led the Celtics in assists, with five, and was the team's No. 1 defensive rebounder with five boards.
Unfortunately, one star's effort wasn't enough to top a balanced attack by the Heat.
Box Score Nuggets
- Miami had nine players score between eight and 19 points.
- Kyrie Irving was the game's only 20-point scorer. He logged 22 points on 10-of-19 shooting.
- Justise Winslow had the game's only double-double, as he logged 13 points and 11 assists.
- Miami made a season-high 18 3-pointers on 39 attempts.
- The Celtics did not record a free throw in the first half.
- The Celtics shot 15-of-17 from the free-throw line in the second half.
- Miami shot 5-of-8 from the free-throw line for the entire game.
- No player in the game committed more than three personal fouls.
- Miami only turned the ball over eight times, while Boston coughed the rock up just 10 times.
- The Heat had a 51-37 advantage in the rebounding department.
- Miami's bench had a 60-23 scoring advantage.
- Robert Williams logged a plus-15 despite his team losing by 16 points.
- The loss ended Boston's four-game winning streak, which had been the longest active such streak in the NBA.
Quote of the Night
Robert gave us a huge lift. He was excellent ... He gave us a chance.”
Brad Stevens on Rob Williams, who logged a plus-15 in 14 minutes.