MIAMI (AP) — Dwyane Wade scored 19 points, Josh Richardson added 18 and the Miami Heat connected on a season-high 18 3-pointers on the way to beating the Boston Celtics 115-99 on Thursday night.
Derrick Jones Jr. scored 14 points, and Justise Winslow finished with 13 points and a career-best 11 assists for the Heat. Miami had 33 assists on 45 field goals.
Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 22 for the Celtics, who scored a season-high 135 points one night earlier in a win over Indiana — and were held under 100 for only the fourth time all season, the first time since Nov. 17.
Marcus Smart scored 18, and Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris each had 17 for the Celtics. Wade had 12 of his 19 in the second half for Miami, which snapped a two-game slide.
They trailed for 4:14 in the first quarter alone on Thursday, and that set the tone.
Miami outscored Boston 17-4 in the final 3:07 of the first half and took a 61-43 lead into the break — the largest halftime edge for the Heat since November. And an 11-3 run to start the third pushed the lead out to 72-46, which would seem to indicate that Miami was in complete control.
Looks were deceiving.
Boston scored the next 16 points, with Tatum getting six of them — all from the foul line — and the Celtics were right back in the game. Wade made a 3-pointer to stop the run, and scored eight points in the final 3:47 of the quarter as the Heat took an 83-72 lead into the final 12 minutes.
Tyler Johnson got a pair of 3s to fall in a 67-second span early in the fourth, and just like that Miami was back up 95-76.
Celtics: Boston had its fourth-lowest-scoring first half of the season (43), its worst since scoring 37 in the first half at Portland on Nov. 11. The Celtics had scored at least 50 points in 18 of their last 19 halves entering Thursday. … Boston has now lost three straight to Miami, the first time that’s happened since 2012.
Heat: It was Miami’s 400th consecutive home sellout. … Winslow wore “RIP Sammy Farkas” on his sneakers, a tribute to a Miami Beach teen who died in a fall earlier this week. … Jones made a 40-footer to end the first half, and had a 60-footer to end the third quarter hit the rim and bounce off.
Boston and Miami didn’t play each other in 2018 — the last meeting between the clubs, before Thursday, came on Dec. 20, 2017. The Celtics played every other NBA team at least once in 2018; the Heat played every team besides Boston and Golden State, who they last faced on Dec. 3, 2017 and won’t see for the first time this year until Feb. 10 in Oakland.
The game’s first free throw came more than 17 minutes after tip-off, when Winslow got to the line for Miami. Boston didn’t take a free throw until 10:31 remained in the third quarter. The Celtics came into Thursday averaging 19.8 foul shots per game, third-fewest in the NBA this season.
Celtics: Visit Orlando on Saturday. Boston is 7-2 in its last nine games against Orlando.
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