Goran Dragic turns in marvelous double-double in Heat’s loss to Celtics
MIAMI (AP) — Isaiah Thomas endured his worst shooting night of the season, and the Boston Celtics still made scoring on Miami look easy.
Thomas had 25 points and eight assists, Avery Bradley added 18 points and the Celtics beat the Heat 112-104 on Monday night — putting up more points on Miami than any other opponent all season.
Thomas shot 7 for 23, but the Celtics put six players in double figures and never trailed after the midpoint of the first quarter.
"We took what the defense gave us," said Boston’s Kelly Olynyk, who had 14 points. "We just kind of found ways to score however they were guarding us."
Jae Crowder scored 17 points for Boston, which beat Miami for the fourth consecutive time.
Goran Dragic had 27 points and 17 assists for the Heat, setting season bests in both categories. Hassan Whiteside added 25 points and 17 rebounds, and Josh Richardson scored 12.
"That is the Goran Dragic we know," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "It’s my responsibility to get him to that more frequently."
The Heat tied a season low for a quarter with 12 points in the second, going into halftime down 48-31. They established a season best with 42 points in the third, yet Boston maintained a double-digit lead.
"They went on a run in the third quarter, but any way we can get road wins we’re going to take them," Thomas said.
Marcus Smart picked up three fouls — a flagrant, a personal and a technical — 51 seconds apart late in the fourth, and that helped Miami get Boston’s lead down to nine for the first time since the second quarter.
But the Heat still fell to 2-7 at home.
"We just need to continue to grind, to get better," Dragic said. "We have so many times we’re not focused enough. … You cannot win games like that. We need to figure out something, for sure."
Celtics: Al Horford (newborn child) missed the game but is expected to practice Tuesday. … Shortly before tip-off, Thomas posed for a photo with a soldier who was near the Boston bench. … Of the 10 Celtics who played, nine had an assist.
Heat: Miami missed its first 14 3-pointers before Richardson finally got one to drop midway through the third quarter. A fan actually made one before any Heat player, connecting — while seated, no less — during a second-quarter timeout and winning a tablet. … Whiteside has at least one blocked shot in 46 consecutive games.
Wayne Ellington played 27 minutes and scored nine points in his Heat debut after missing 16 games with a bruised thigh. Dragic (left elbow) returned from a two-game absence, though he still has some pain. Justise Winslow (left wrist) missed his eighth straight game, while Tyler Johnson (tooth) and Dion Waiters (groin) also were ruled out. Whiteside had an MRI on his sore left knee earlier in the day, and the results did not show any structural problems.
Gerald Green was back in Miami for the first time since his one-season stint with the Heat ended. He greeted former teammates like Udonis Haslem before the game and said he was happy with his second stint in Boston. "The first time I was there I was the youngest guy on the team. Now I’m the oldest guy on the team," said the 30-year-old Green, who is about 5 months older than Horford.
Celtics: Host Detroit on Wednesday, the start of a two-game homestand.
Heat: Visit Denver on Wednesday, beginning a three-game trip against Western Conference foes.