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Celtics loses 88-78 to Heat after collapsing in second half of first Summer League game

The Summer Celtics opened up their stint in Las Vegas with a loss after blowing an early first quarter lead.

2022 NBA Summer League - Boston Celtics v. Miami Heat
Sam Hauser dribbles in Summer League opener.
Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

The Summer League Boston Celtics collapsed in the final three quarters to fall by a final score of 88-78 inside Cox Pavillion against the Miami Heat. With the loss, the Summer League Celtics start off 0-1 in Vegas.

Brodric Thomas got going early for Boston with two quick buckets, including a long-range 3-pointer, and Trevion Williams made his presence felt with four points and two rebounds as the Celtics jumped out to an early 16-9 lead at the 4:11 mark. Throughout the contest, Williams showcased his elite vision and excellent playmaking ability.

On the other end, Miami’s Javonte Smart started 3-7 from the field as Boston’s perimeter defense struggled to close out on shooters. Rotating and defensive movement proved difficult in the early going as Boston allowed eight assists in the first quarter, yet still held a 25-24 lead at the end of the first quarter.

From there, Matt Ryan started heating up from distance. He converted on a catch-and-shoot three and then a pull-up triple to give Boston a 28-27 lead. Ryan scored a couple possessions later after a quick pump-fake and Boston led 34-29 with 8:37 remaining in the half.

Mychal Mulder hit a 3-pointer for Miami to tie it 34-34. Boston answered with a 6-0 run as Juhann Begarin converted two free throws, J.D. Davison made a three, and Begarin scored on a crafty mid-range jumper.

The run gave Miami some extra motivation and Orlando Robinson made a free throw to jumpstart a dominate 23-6 Miami run over the final 5:59 of the half.

Boston came out of the half looking like a different team. The man-to-man defense locked in and Begarin threw down an alley-oop from Davison to initiate a 7-2 run. Mfiondu Kabengele made a free throw, Davison drew contact and went 2-for-2 from the line, and Kabengele ran the floor and finished another alley-oop from Davison, letting out an audible scream.

After a Miami layup and 3-pointer, Williams muscled his way down low and made a beautiful 3-foot hook shot. Williams (yes, I’m a big Trevion Williams fan) delivered yet another perfect pass to a cutting Sam Hauser that led to two free throws to make it 64-58 as Boston’s final response was coming together.

But Mulder answered for Miami and Jamaree Bouyea back-to-back buckets boosted the Heat’s lead back up to ten at 71-61 with the third quarter all wrapped up.

Down the stretch, Bouyea carried the offense for Miami to help keep the Celtics at bay. Kabengele flashed some potential as he scored on an alley-oop dunk while he delivered a pinpoint pass to Hauser for a made 3-pointer to cut Miami’s lead to 84-70 with 4:29 left.

Davison had a notable driving layup, bursting from the 3-point line and rising up through contact. With the score at 88-78 in the final minute, fans began to clap and applaud the Heat and from there, Miami dribbled up the clock and Boston lost their Summer League debut.