Payton Pritchard takes a shot in the lane in Miami

Keys to the Game: Heat 98, Celtics 95

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

Key Moment

Tuesday’s matchup with Miami came down to the wire. The key stretch of the game, however, occurred well before crunch time.

Boston went scoreless from the 8:46 mark of the fourth quarter to the 2:20 mark, which led to the disappearance of its 10-point lead. While the C’s went cold, the Heat, well… they got hot. Miami rattled off 15 consecutive points to take a five-point lead with 3:42 left in the game.

The Celtics managed to score only eight points down the stretch and were never able to regain a lead before falling 98-95.

Miami shot 6-for-9 from the field during its 15-0 run, which included three 3-pointers. Boston, meanwhile, missed 10 consecutive shots and committed a turnover during the run.

Still, the C’s had a shot to win it during the final minute. They tied the game up at 95-95 with 42.6 seconds left. They also had 20.4 seconds left on the clock with a chance to tie or take the lead after Bam Adebayo made a jumper to give Miami a two-point advantage.

Boston opted not to call a timeout, and instead chose to play for the final shot for either the tie or the win. That plan did not work out, as the Heat swarmed Jayson Tatum and forced him into a turnover with 1.2 seconds left to seal the Celtics’ defeat. 

Key Player

Jayson Tatum threatened to log the first 30-point triple-double of his career Tuesday night in Miami. He fell a few assists shy while carrying Boston’s offensive load.

Tatum finished the contest with a game-high 31 points to go along with team-best marks of 14 rebounds and seven assists. Yet again, he shot the ball well, making nine of his 18 shot attempts. Yet again, he feasted at the free-throw line, where he made 11 of his game-high 14 attempts.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Jayson Tatum led the game in scoring (31 points) and led the Celtics in rebounds (14) and assists (seven).
  • Bam Adebayo led the game with 15 rebounds and also scored 30 points.
  • Both teams scored 42 points in the paint.
  • Boston's bench was outscored 39-10.
  • Derrick White scored 23 points and dished out six assists.
  • Haywood Highsmith totaled 15 points and 10 rebounds off of Miami's bench while canning all four of his 3-pointers.
  • Boston committed 17 turnovers compared to Miami's seven.
  • All five of Boston's starters scored in double-figures.
  • Three of Miami's starters scored in single-digits, including two points from Kyle Lowry.
  • The Celtics fell despite holding Miami to just 36.2 percent shooting from the field.

Quote of the Night

"I love what he's done. I think he's given great ball pressure. I think he's given great detail and physicality on the defensive end, and I think he's generating good looks for us at the offensive end."

- Joe Mazzulla on Payton Pritchard's recent stretch of play