Goran Dragic leads the way to end the season's longest winning streak, so far
The Boston Celtics came into this game, carrying a 16-game winning streak and they were hoping to extend it to 17 against the Miami Heat who have dropped 3 of their last 4 games. While things haven't gone according to plans for the Heat this season, the rest of the league shouldn't count out Miami just yet because they may surprise you.
And it turned out, the Heat surprised the no-longer streaking Boston Celtics as Miami successfully defended their home court after beating the Celtics, 104-98. And this was just one of those games when Boston couldn't get anything going. Why? They allowed the Heat to build a big lead. They almost erased that lead late in the game and in the end, the Heat still held on for the win, their second in 3 games.
What happened in Miami? Below are the numbers:
The Heat owned the Boards
If you have a player as tall as Hassan Whiteside on your team, you should be able to get more rebounds, right? Against the league-leading Celtics, Whiteside had only 10 rebounds but he has 5 other teammates who were able to get 5 rebounds or more. Overall, the Heat outrebounded the Celtics- 48-37.
The Celtics won some of their last 16 games despite the fact that Kyrie Irving was struggling offensively. They even won two games without him. However, things finally went south for the Celtics as Kyrie Irving only made 11 out of his 22 shots against Miami to finish with 23 points. He failed to make any of his 3 attempts from deep which would have made a difference considering how slim the final score was. He was also miserable from the free throw line, only making 1 of 4 charities. No wonder why they lost.
52 Points in the Paint
One of the main advantages of having someone like Hassan Whiteside is it gives the Heat the manpower to dominate the shaded area and that's what the Heat did against Boston. Miami outscored their opponents in the paint, 52-40.
Like it or not, the Boston Celtics will become a better team after this latest setback. They can look at the things which they did wrong against the Heat and try not to repeat those mistakes in the upcoming games- specifically Kyrie Irving who has been struggling miserably and that cannot be taken granted especially if Boston wants to make a deep run come playoff time. The Celtics will be back on their winning ways- one way or another.