Sunday, December 21, 2014

Heat 100 - Celtics 84: C's get Burned on South Beach

Photo: Getty Images
Miami - The Celtics looked to get their first four-game winning streak of the season with Marcus Smart in his first start of his professional career, and came up empty. Boston, in its second game of the 'post-Rondo era' looked flat, and the Heat, even without Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, led the entire game to a 100-84 victory at the American Airlines Arena.

The Heat, led by Luol Deng's 23 point, ended their five-game home losing streak. James Ennis finished with 16 (10 in the fourth quarter), while Noris Cole added 15 in the win. Bosh missed his fifth straight start with a left calf strain. Wade was resting for Miami, who are now 13-15 on the year.

Tyler Zeller led the Celtics with 22 points (13 in the third quarter). Kelly Olynyk and Jeff Green each chipped in with 13 points, as the C's shot a mere 33-of-83 from the field and were 6-23 from behind the arc (27%).

"They made a lot of big shots -- kind of deflating shots," Zeller said. "We did a good job trying to push back. We just have to get over that hump and tie the game or (go) ahead."

The Celtics never got within five points of the Heat, with Smart staring at the point guard spot in 'Life without Rondo' part two ( 3 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds, and 2 turnovers), and with the debut of new additions: Jameer Nelson (3 points,  3 assists), Brandan Wright (6 points, 3 rebounds) and Jae Crowder (scoreless), the C's looked a bit unorganized.

"We're all guessing a little bit, especially with the new guys. This is a little bit of an exploratory time for us," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "We don't get the chance to do that during practice. We have to do that during games."

Boston now 10-15, will continue to enjoy the nice Florida weather as they travel to Orlando to play on Tuesday night. They look to make it two in a row against the Magic, tip-off is at 7:30.

Game Notes:

Boston committed 15 turnovers to the Heat's eight on the night. Miami shot 48 percent from the field to the Celtics' 39.8.

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