Bam Adebayo had 30 points — including a go-ahead jumper in the lane with 20.4 seconds left — to lead the host Miami Heat to a 98-95 victory over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night in South Florida.
Jayson Tatum led Boston with 31 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists. Derrick White added 23 points for the Celtics, who built a 14-point lead in the third quarter.
Miami is 11-5 in their last 16 games. The Heat have also won five straight home games, including Tuesday’s victory over the Celtics, who entered the game with the best record in the NBA.
Adebayo also had a game-high 15 rebounds as Miami won without its leading scorer Jimmy Butler, who sat out with back stiffness.
“Everybody’s got a bigger responsibility, everybody’s got more on their plate,” Adebayo said.
🔥 30 points
🔥 15 boards
🔥 Game winning jumper
What a night for @Bam1of1 Like to open Hat Top Boston #NBARivalsWeek! pic.twitter.com/qvvAjspznZ
— NBA (@NBA) January 25, 2023
“That’s what this team is built for. We’ve had guys in and out of the rotation, injured or not. Just to have that desire to win, that’s all I can ask of my teammates.”
The Heat also won despite Tyler Hero’s shooting woes. Hero scored just nine points on 4-for-19 shooting, including 1-for-7 on 3-pointers. However, Hero stole a Tatum pass with one second remaining to help seal the victory.
Boston was missing several standouts, including Jaylen Brown (right leg), Malcolm Brogdon (personal reasons), Marcus Smart (right ankle), and Al Horford (stiff back).
However, center Robert Williams III, Boston’s leading rebounder and shot blocker, returned from a hyperextended left knee. He had 11 points, eight rebounds and two blocks on Tuesday.
Miami, led by Max Strauss’ 13 points on 3-for-3 shooting from beyond the arc, led 32-30 after the first quarter. Streis remained scoreless the rest of the way.
This is about Bam Adebayo and only Bam Adebayo. pic.twitter.com/MHnGFmgbS2
— Miami Heat (@MiamiHEAT) January 25, 2023
Tatum also had 13 points in the first 12 minutes. There were seven lead changes and five tied scores in that first quarter.
The second quarter featured nine lead changes and five tied scores before Boston took control. The Celtics led 58-50 at halftime, shooting 55 percent (including 4-of-9 on 3-pointers) in the second quarter. Miami shot just 25.0 percent, including 1-of-9 on 3-pointers.
Adebayo scored 12 points in the third quarter, but Miami managed to shave just one point off its deficit, trailing 82-75 in the fourth.
In the fourth, Miami used a 15-0 run to take a 92-87 lead. Haywood Highsmith and Adebayo scored six points during that run.
With 2:19 left, Tatum drove the lane for a three-point play, ending Miami’s run and closing Boston’s deficit to 92-90. Grant Williams hit a 3-pointer with 42.6 seconds to play to draw Boston with Miami. Adebayo hit the winner on the next possession.
After Monday’s 113-98 loss at Orlando, the Celtics have lost two in a row for the first time since Jan. 1 and Jan. 3.
With reports from field-level media/Agence France-Presse
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