The Miami Heat secured another win in the Orlando bubble, beating the Boston Celtics 112-106 on Tuesday night to go 2-1 since the NBA’s July restart. The Heat were without their leader Jimmy Butler but put in a collective effort to beat Brad Stevens’ side after a disappointing loss to the Toronto Raptors on Monday.
Butler, who sat out with right ankle soreness, was replaced by Kelly Olynyk in the starting lineup as Jae Crowder retained his place to keep Meyers Leonard grounded to the bench.
The Heat were a bit slow to get on the scoreboard, as were the Celtics, but they dominated things in the opening quarter with 55 percent shooting. Kemba Walker was mostly kept quiet throughout the first half and didn’t get his first basket until the game got under the 5th-minute mark in the second quarter, which Miami ended with a 12-point lead.
A 13-1 run got the Celtics to within three midway through the third, and they eventually trailed by a single point, but Miami rallied back with a 13-3 run of their own and went into the fourth with an eight-point advantage after Walker beat the buzzer with a half-court heave to bring Boston back to within striking distance.
Marcus Smart fouled out with 3:46 left in the third, picking up his sixth foul in just 16 minutes. Jayson Tatum picked up his fifth with just over a minute left in the quarter.
Miami kept the pressure up in the final quarter but the Celtics managed to cut the lead down to three with 14 seconds left on a long-range effort from Walker. Andre Iguodala sank one of two from the line and Duncan Robinson would snatch the offensive rebound before getting fouled. The sharpshooter hit both of the resulting free throws to put the Heat back up by six with three seconds left on the clock.
Robinson scored 21 points on the night, going 5/11 from three, while Bam Adebayo recorded a double-double, also scoring 21 points and adding 12 rebounds.
On a negative note, Goran Dragic hobbled off the court in the final seconds after appearing to hurt his ankle on the back of a huge 20-point game off the bench for Miami.