Tatum drops 26 points, Celtics hold on from late lead to beat Heat

Tatum drops 26 points, Celtics hold on from late lead to beat Heat

MIAMI (AP) – Jayson Tatum scored 26 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as the Boston Celtics beat the Miami Heat 110-106 on Sunday.

Kristaps Porzingis scored 25 points, Jaylen Brown scored 20 points, and Jrue Holiday scored 15 points for Boston, which made 16 of 39 three-point attempts.

The Celtics have won all three games with the Heat this season and have won six of their last seven against them. The loss came in the seventh game of the Eastern Conference finals last season, when Boston forced the decisive match after losing the first three games.

“Executing late in the game, you have to set the table,” Celtics coach Joe Mazzola said. “I think our guys did that.”

Tyler Herro scored 22 of his 24 points in the second half, Bam Adebayo scored 22, and Duncan Robinson and Caleb Martin each finished with 15 points for the Heat, who were short from the beginning of the game until the end.

The Heat were without top scorer Jimmy Butler, who took a leave of absence due to the death of a family member.

Miami lost Terry Rozier and Josh Richardson to injuries. Rozier, who finished with 13 points, landed awkwardly on his right leg after heading toward the basket midway through the third quarter, clearly swinging his knee. Coach Erik Spoelstra said both players will undergo MRI scans on Monday.

“It’s hard to see people like that go down,” Robinson said. “So for Jimmy to deal with what he’s dealing with is unfortunate, to put it mildly.”

Richardson exited in the second quarter with a right shoulder injury. He fell to the ground in pain after his failed attempt to strip Tatum of the ball.

“I felt my shoulder stick out and then go back to the ground, so I thank God for that,” Richardson said. “I’ll know more tomorrow.”

Robinson also favored his left shoulder after Brown pushed him into the stands when they both tangled in the post early in the fourth quarter. Brown and Robinson exchanged words and Brown was assessed one flagrant foul.

“I thought it was a dirty play, to be honest with you. I just thought it was dangerous and unnecessary and excessive,” Robinson said.

Miami overcame a 15-point deficit in the third quarter and reduced it to 106-104 thanks to a Herro hat-trick with a minute and 49 seconds left. But Porzingis and Tatum hit two free throws to secure the win.

“I thought our group showed a tremendous amount of grit in the second half,” Spoelstra said. “There were a lot of things that weren’t necessarily going our way, including injuries. To really fight back and bounce back and put this game on the ropes, it’s down to how hard the guys played.”

the next

Celtics: Visit Brooklyn on Tuesday night.

Heat: Begin a six-game road stretch at Milwaukee on Tuesday night.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA

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