Heat's fourth-quarter rally comes up short against Celtics
MIAMI (AP) -- Whenever Boston's lead looked shaky in the final minutes, Avery Bradley had an answer.
And just like that, the Celtics' three-game road slide is over.
Bradley scored 25 points and forced a big turnover when he knocked away a pass by Dwyane Wade with a minute remaining, Jared Sullinger had 17 points and the Celtics put all five starters in double figures on the way to beating the Miami Heat 105-95 Monday night.
Isaiah Thomas scored 16 while fellow starters Jae Crowder and Amir Johnson each added 13 for Boston. Evan Turner had 13 off the bench.
"I felt like we came out from the beginning of the game and had a defensive mindset," Bradley said.
He had enough of an offensive mindset when Boston needed as well. Bradley has scored at least 25 points in three of his last six outings.
"He hit huge shots when we needed them most," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.
Wade scored 30 for Miami, which cut a 14-point deficit to one in the fourth quarter but never led after halftime. Chris Bosh played through an illness to add 21 points for the Heat, who got 10 from Tyler Johnson off the bench.
Miami made it a one-possession game on five separate occasions in the final 14 minutes, and Boston scored on its ensuing trip every time. The first three of those were all on jumpers by Bradley, two of them being 3-pointers, and Wade lamented afterward that Miami couldn't get stops at the biggest moments.
"They played their game from the start," Wade said. "They were the desperate team tonight."
Boston was up 94-83 midway through the fourth when Wade got on a tear, scoring eight consecutive Miami points and getting the Heat within five on a layup with 3:24 left. Bosh scored with 2:02 left to cut Boston's lead to 96-93, but Crowder made two free throws to give the Celtics a bit of breathing room and the Heat never got any closer again.
"We had some stretches where we were able to change the momentum, but for the most part those skirmishes, loose balls, they were able to impact those more consistently," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "In the end, even though our offense was inconsistent down the stretch, those plays really impacted the momentum, the will and feel of the game."
Celtics: Boston has won at least one game at Miami in nine of the last 10 seasons. ... Thomas has reached double figures in scoring in all 18 of Boston's games this season, and in his last 24 regular-season games going back to last season. ... The Celtics blocked three shots, giving them 82 for the season. That's only seven more than Miami's Hassan Whiteside, the NBA swat leader.
Heat: Miami used only an eight-man rotation, differing from the normal nine or 10. ... Whiteside's first field goal came with 3:23 left in the third quarter. ... Miami lost for the third time in its first 11 home games of the season. ... The Heat are 1-4 when allowing opponents to reach the 100-point mark. When holding them under triple digits, Miami is 9-2.
ALL OR NOTHING
When Boston wins, it tends to do so comfortably. Including Monday, nine of the Celtics' 10 wins have been by at least 10 points, with the lone exception an 84-80 victory over winless Philadelphia last week. And five of the Celtics' eight losses were by double digits, with the others coming by two, four and eight points.
Luol Deng (hamstring) remained out for Miami, though the Heat hope he can play Thursday against Oklahoma City. Amare Stoudemire (illness) was ruled out as well, the 14th time he's sat in the first 16 games this season.
Celtics: Visit Sacramento on Thursday.
Heat: Host Oklahoma City on Thursday.