National Basketball Association
Boston 96, Miami 90
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, October 28, 2017
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
#71 Rodney Mott, #54 Ray Acosta, #24 Mike Callahan
MIAMI -- Kyrie Irving shrugged off early shooting woes when it mattered most.
After shooting 4 of 13 in the first half, Irving responded with seven straight points in the final two minutes as the Boston Celtics withstood a late rally and defeated the Miami Heat 96-90 Saturday night.
Irving scored a game-high 24 points, including nine in the fourth quarter, to lead the Celtics to their fourth straight win and eighth consecutive victory against the Heat. Miami has not defeated Boston since March 25, 2015.
The Heat rallied from an 11-point deficit midway through the third quarter and got within 88-86 on Goran Dragic's layup with 1:53 remaining in the fourth period.
Irving responded with a short jumper and a 3-pointer that gave the Celtics 93-86 lead with 57 seconds left. Irving began his late scoring blitz with a floater that gave Boston an 88-84 advantage with 2:16 remaining.
"Just big possessions down the stretch, understanding that you have to stay poised," Irving said. "Just unwavering in those situations. Winning time -- so it's pretty simple."
Irving shot 6 of 10 from the field in the second half. For Irving, who joined the Celtics in an offseason trade from Cleveland, the win was his first as a visiting player against the Heat in his six-year career.
"All of my shots were good tonight, they were just short," Irving said. "Miami just does a good job of shrinking the floor. I just wasn't being as decisive as I should have been. In the second half, I was more aggressive and understanding where my shots were going to come from."
Jayson Tatum scored 20 points as the rookie from Duke went 6 of 9 from the field for the Celtics. Marcus Smart finished with 16 points and Al Horford was Boston's fourth double-figures scorer with 12 points.
The Celtics held all four of their opponents in the current winning streak to 92 points or fewer.
"We played really hard the whole night," Boston coach Brad Stevens said. "We don't always make the best decisions. We don't always play the best basketball but we played really hard.
"I thought we flew around, even when we were late we tried to challenge shots. We played well enough to give ourselves a chance and Kyrie made huge plays at the end."
Dragic scored 22 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter, and James Johnson and Josh Richardson each scored 16 points for Miami (2-3). Former Celtic Kelly Olynyk scored 14 points and had nine rebounds in his first game against his former team.
"Everybody was frustrated tonight, I'm not sure," Dragic said. "Everybody was low energy. It's tough to describe. Maybe in the fourth quarter we started playing. We moved the ball, we penetrated and got some open shots we didn't make. That's how it needs to be the whole game."
Boston limited Miami to 43 percent shooting but the Celtics also struggled offensively, shooting 42 percent.
"What you had was a throwback possession game," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Neither team was getting great looks. In this new modern NBA, that's a game in the 80s."
The Celtics increased a two-point lead at halftime and took their first double-digit lead at 65-54 on Aron Baynes jumper with 4:10 remaining in the third quarter.
Smart scored eight points in a 10-0 run early in the second quarter that gave the Celtics a 35-30 advantage. Smart keyed the surge with two 3s and a layup.
Later in the quarter, Miami rallied from a seven-point deficit and outscored Boston 11-4. Johnson's three-point play with 1:09 remaining in the quarter ended the spurt and tied it at 45 before Irving's layup with a second remaining in the quarter gave the Celtics a 47-45 lead at halftime.
NOTES: Rookie G Jayson Tatum scored in double figures for the fifth time in six professional games. Tatum's only game without double-digit scoring was his eight-point performance against Milwaukee on Oct. 18. ... Celtics coach Brad Stevens said G Marcus Smart will remain on a limited-minute pace as he continues to recover from a left ankle sprain that sidelined him for two games. Smart played 26 minutes against Miami. ... Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said C Hassan Whiteside's return would be assisted with a practice session but didn't make it the only factor. Whiteside missed his fourth consecutive game because of a bruised left knee he sustained in Miami's season-opening game against Orlando on Oct. 25. ... Rookie C Bam Adebayo made his second consecutive start in place of Whiteside. Adebayo finished with six points and three rebounds.
Top Game Performances
Kyrie Irving 24
Goran Dragic 22
Marcus Smart 4
Goran Dragic 4
Al Horford 9
Justise Winslow 12
Al Horford 6
||Free Throws Made
Kelly Olynyk 7
Kyrie Irving 3
Bam Adebayo 1
Aron Baynes 4
Kelly Olynyk 3
Team Stats Summary
Miami will play their next game at home against Minnesota. The Heat have a W/L % of .500 after a win and .333 after a loss.
Boston will play their next game at home against San Antonio. The Celtics have a W/L % of .750 after a win and .500 after a loss.