In their first meeting since the Eastern Conference Finals, the Miami Heat fell to the Boston Celtics, 119-111 in their second game of the new season on Friday.
Miami got off to a fast start, leading 26-13 lead in the first quarter, but Boston was able to respond with a 10-0 run to close the gap quickly. Boston then began to build an advantage on the offensive glass, leading to 23 second-chance points. To finish the game, Boston had a 16-11 offensive rebounding advantage.
“If we just shored up those areas on the glass, I think we probably would have been in a position of control a little bit more often in that second half,” Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said in his postgame press conference.
To add to the Heat losing the rebounding battle, Jimmy Butler did not make his presence felt, finishing with 14 points on a 3-11 shooting performance.
Although it’s hard to think about any positives after a loss, there were some silver linings from Friday night that cannot go unnoticed.
Two silver linings from the Heat’s loss to the Celtics
In Wednesday’s home opener, Kyle Lowry and Tyler Herro combined for a 7 for 25 shooting night against the Detroit Pistons, in which Lowry attempted one out of the 25 shots combined between the two. Questions were asked if Lowry and Herro can coexist as a duo, but Friday showed that they have the capability of being a productive backcourt, with both of them having a bounce back against an Eastern Conference contender.
Herro got off to a fast start, scoring 12 in the first and finishing as the team’s leading scorer with 28 points. Herro was able to operate where he was comfortable, hitting an array of floaters, catch-and-shoot, and transition 3-pointers, finishing with five made for the game.
Unlike the opener where Herro was ice cold to begin the game, a hot start led to a great game from Herro and was a major factor in Miami building a lead on Boston to begin the game.
For Lowry, instead of not looking at the basket until thirty second were left in the game, Lowry looked to score when needed and when the opportunity was given to him. Lowry was a very efficient 5-7 from the field and 3-4 from three-point range. Lowry was also active on the glass, finishing with eight rebounds, which was second most on the team behind Kevin Love’s nine. Miami doesn’t need Lowry to be a dynamic scorer, but being able to hit a few shots to keep the defense on their heels can help open up Miami’s offense.
While Herro will remain in the starting lineup, time will tell if Lowry will be Herro’s partner in the backcourt. But tonight can hopefully be a step in the right direction for a duo that had doubts before the season began.