In a hard fought contest, the Boston Celtics dropped their fifth game of the year, losing to the Miami Heat by a score of 120-116, and moving to 18-5 on the season. Jaylen Brown did his best to carry the team, but a high turnover game saw the Celtics get in their own way.
While the Celtics’ offense was a bit subpar (33.3% 3PT), their shooting was far from the biggest issue. Boston turned the ball over 20 times, leading to 21 points for the Heat. It was the eighth time in 10 games that the Celtics have turned the ball over at least 14 times, and the fourth time in the last 10 with at least 16 turnovers.
Despite their struggles, however, Brown came through when it mattered most. He ended the night with a game-high 37 points to go along with 14 rebounds and five assists. His dominant performance covered a relatively slow night for Jayson Tatum, who only managed to put up 14 points, 12 rebounds, and three assists.
The two stars went toe-to-toe with Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler, who led the way for Miami. In his first game back since November 16, Butler dropped 25 points, 15 rebounds, and three assists, but it was Adebayo who finished the night as the Heat’s scoring leader. He had 28 points, paired alongside his seven rebounds and three assists. Tyler Herro (26 points) and Kyle Lowry (20 points) chipped in with 20-point games, too.
Brown’s big time double-double carried Boston in this one, but double-digit performances from Marcus Smart (18 points, nine assists), Derrick White (13 points), and Grant Williams (18 points) helped out along the way.
Boston and Miami weren’t the only parties involved in Friday night’s affairs. The referees made sure to make their presence known, as there were 42 total fouls called on the night. Both teams picked up delay-of-game warnings before the game even tipped off, and that should have been taken as a sign of things to come. Everyone on both sides, from the players to the coaches, seemed frustrated with the officiating.
A strong third quarter had the Celtics in a good position, but in the early stages of the fourth, the Heat were able to tie things up again, setting up for a tightly contested finish. Boston’s turnovers were the main issue that led to Miami’s run. But just when the Celtics seemed to be out of luck, Brown nailed an absurd three-point shot to send the game to overtime.
JAYLEN BROWN FORCES OT pic.twitter.com/refkwmnRKp— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) December 3, 2022
Boston’s superstar duo led the way in overtime, with Brown continuing his amazing performance and Tatum attempting to shake off the rust. They dueled with Butler and Adebayo, but in the end, it was Butler who got the last laugh. He made a tough fadeaway to help the Heat close the game out, just like the one he hit near the end of regulation. The veteran superstar returned from injury and helped take down the NBA’s Goliath.
With the loss, the Celtics dropped to 2-1 against the Heat this season. It marks their first loss at home since October 28 against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now, they’ll head out on a six-game road trip. Their next game will be on Sunday, December 4, against the Brooklyn Nets. That game tips off at 6:00 p.m. Eastern time.