MIAMI -- The Boston Celtics walloped the Miami Heat, 143-110, on Thursday, the second night of a back-to-back. Miami never even felt a sign of victory, producing one of its worst defensive performances of the season. This marks the Heat’s fifth straight loss, three of which were at Kaseya Center.
Miami’s defense looked like a buffet in the matchup. The Celtics got whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. Boston’s success from beyond the arc was the true teller of a dominant win. They finsihed the game shooting 55% from three and 63.7% from the field. Both teams played a majority of the fourth quarter with starters on the bench.
Boston was leading 42-29 at the end of the first behind 14 points from Kristaps Porzingis. Despite Miami's second-quarter push, the Celtics kept their foot on the gas. Jayson Tatum scored 12 points in the third, while Jrue Holiday had 11 on a 5 for 5 split. The Celtics got scoring surges from each of their starters, making it difficult for Miami to contain.
The Heat didn’t have a single scorer crack the 20-point mark, notching that stat in back-to-back games. They shot 14 more field goals than the Celtics and had five more second-chance points, but were unable to convert them into meaningful buckets. Efficiency was a major issue yet again.
Terry Rozier ended the night shooting 3 for 10 in his first start for the Heat. Jimmy Butler was effective, knocking down seven of his 11 attempts, but a superstar like Butler should have put the game in his hands before it got ugly. The Heat found themselves spreading the ball around, playing deep into the shot clock.
Head coach Erik Spoelstra prides his team in having a defensive identity. With 143 points from the Celtics, that Heat Culture wasn’t displayed in the slightest. Spoelestra spoke on Miami’s performance, giving credit to Boston, the No. 1 team in the Eastern Conference.
“What went wrong was we faced a very potent offensive team that’s been doing this for several months now," Spoelstra said. "It was a humbling night, that’s for sure. They put us in our place tonight."
This was a nightmare scenario for Spoelstra and the Heat, getting dominated against their rival in the midst of a losing skid. Miami needs answers sooner rather than later. It’s still early in the season, but a head-scratching performance like this just piles on to Miami's ongoing list of problems.
“That’s the standard now that we understand what that is, what the top record in the East looks like," Spoelstra said. "We have some work to do."