The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat faced off Wednesday night in a crucial Eastern Conference matchup as Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Al Horford all returned. But, the Rob Williams-less Celtics fell in a back-and-forth affair, 106-98.
After Miami stormed back to even it up at halftime, the two teams would trade baskets until the Heat pulled ahead in the final minutes of the first quarter and rode their lead out to the final buzzer.
Brown led in scoring with 28, while Tatum had 23 and Daniel Theis had 15 in Rob Williams’ absence. Marcus Smart also had eight assists. Boston not having Williams opened many holes in the paint and was a big part of why the Celtics struggled inside.
The loss is a lot more than just the team’s second straight and 30th of the season, as the Celtics drop to (tied for) third place in the Eastern Conference and Miami takes control and remains in first. With a win, Boston would be tied for first place with the Heat.
With five games left in the season now, Boston takes on the Pacers at 7:30 p.m. ET Friday night.