The Boston Celtics lost their second game in a row when they faced the Miami Heat at the Miami-Dade Arena on Tuesday Night, 98-95.
The Celtics were coming off an embarrassing loss against the Orlando Magic on Monday night, 113-98.
For the second game in a row, there were missing key pieces for the C’s. Jaylen Brown was out for the game to manage his right abductor sprain. Center Al Horford missed the game with lower back stiffness.
Also out for the second game in a row, was Marcus Smart with a sprained right ankle and Malcolm Brogdon was out for personal reasons.
The biggest star that played in this game for the C’s was Jayson Tatum. Tatum lead the team with 31 points, 14 rebounds and 7 assists.
Although, Tatum lead the team in this game, the starters who are were put in place for the inactive players stepped up in their performance. Derrick White, who started for Brogdon scored 23 points and dished out 6 assists in his best scoring performance since his 26-point outburst against the New Orleans Pelicans on November 18th. Peyton Pritchard, who started for Brown had 10 points. Robert Williams III, who started for Horford scored 11 points and snatched 8 rebounds.
Although the team stepped up and improved from the last game, this was not enough to defeat the Miami Heat and here’s why.
Celtics let the Heat come back in the fourth
The Celtics lead 87-77 with under 9 minutes left in the 4th quarter when White threw up an alley-oop highlight pass to Robert Williams III. The Celtics would then let the Heat pounce them for most of the quarter when the Heat went on a 15-0 run that was abrupted by a Tatum floater with a free throw that brought the game back to 92-90.
Celtics then got back into the game when they tied the game at 95 with 42 seconds left when Grant Williams hit a three-pointer to tie the game.
The Heat sealed the win however when Bam Adebayo hit a jump shot just below the foul line for the Heat to take the lead at 97-95.
This was the second game in a row that the Celtics bad play in the 4th quarter has cost them the game, where they let the Magic go on a 16-3 run to end the game on Monday Night.
Bad time management for Celtics
When the Celtics had the ball after Adebayo made his would-be game-winning shot, Tatum had the ball with 20 seconds on the clock. Tatum chewed clock where he was trying to hit a three-pointer but was double-covered by Guard Gabe Vincent and Forward Haywood Highsmith. Tatum would then try to pass it to Grant Williams, only to be intercepted by Tyler Herro.
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The Celtics then had to foul with White fouling Highsmith who would make 1 of 2 free throws to extend the Heat lead to 3.
With 0.6 seconds left, Celtics Head Coach Joe Missoula used both timeouts to try to tie the game to go into overtime. Pritchard shot a quick three from the tip of the Heat logo which would be no good and seal the win for the Heat.
Chewing the clock in basketball is not always a bad idea but, when it’s crucial like this it was not a very smart play by Tatum to let the clock wind down like he did. If he didn’t let the clock down the Celtics would have had a better chance of tying or winning the game.
The Celtics will look to strike back when they return home for a four-game homestead starting on Thursday Night against the New York Knicks for a 7:30 pm tip off on TNT.