With the Celtics back home for the first of a three-game stand, the Miami Heat travelled to Boston for the first meeting between these teams in 2019-20. The hot shooting Heat led by Duncan Robinson (44% from three this season) and Jimmy Butler came to play and jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter 28-20. Kemba Walker looked like he had regained his shooting stroke and was effective to start the game nailing two early triples. However overall, the team struggled to put it in the basket shooting just 38% from the field through the first quarter.
#Celtics not only missing Marcus Smart’s defense tonight. They’re also missing his outlet passes... and his grit, heart, etc, etc.— Abby Chin (@tvabby) December 5, 2019
With Marcus Smart out Coach Brad Stevens was looking for some grit and tenancity from the bench in the second quarter. Carsen Edwards obliged in his first defensive possession to rip the ball away from a driving Tyler Herro and gift the Cs a fast break basket.
With his shot off early, Jayson Tatum looked to get himself going on the inside during the second quarter hitting on two contested drives and getting to the foul line. Tatum, Walker and Brown would need to step up the scoring load and the trio spearheaded a 28-9 run for Boston as they held the Heat to 16 second quarter points. The trio’s performance equated to an eight point lead at half time as they scored 39 of the team’s 52 first half points.
As the second half got underway the team ratcheted up the defensive intensity to 11. Offensively things kept clicking and Kemba Walker (28pts, 6-11 from three) was getting into the paint and getting the defenders on their heels. This pass to Daniel Theis for the uncontested dunk was a sublime move.
Kemba's passing has been filthy all night pic.twitter.com/YDmclpa1HM— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) December 5, 2019
Daniel Theis was involved in nearly everything good as the second half opened. Defensively he has been a brilliant anchor. The German provided some huge recovery D on this one to swat Leonard away!!
WHAT A FASTBREAK!! WHAT A THEIS BLOCK!!! pic.twitter.com/qdmA0wdCZv— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) December 5, 2019
The Heat came into the game second place in the East and on a 3-game win streak whilst posting 8-2 from the last 10 games. They have a knack of sticking in games and Jimmy Butler (35 pts, 6-9 from 3) is renowned for hitting late baskets, added to that, he seemingly loves to score big-time daggers against the Celtics. However, it was Jaylen Brown who provided his own big shots on his way to 31 points shooting 5-9 from three. In all Boston got key contributions across the board from Theis to Semi Ojeleye and Robert Williams III.
Boston now move past the Heat on percentage in the East standings and will host the Denver Nuggets this Friday night.