Boston Celtics at Miami Heat Preview
The Miami Heat will likely still be fighting for their playoff lives with five games remaining on the schedule and they’ll be up against it tonight as they host a team in the Boston Celtics who pretty much have their first-round playoff matchup set with the Indiana Pacers.
The Heat are 38-39 on the season and are currently in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, but they have just a half-game advantage on the Orlando Magic. A loss against the Celtics tonight would put the Florida franchises in a tie for the last playoff spot. The Heat are 6-4 in their last 10 games and lost their previous game. The Celtics are 46-32 and are tied with the Indiana Pacers, who they’ll likely see in the first round, for fourth in the East. The Celtics have split their last 10 games and won their previous game heading into tonight’s matchup.
The Celtics and Heat just played two days ago on April 1, with the Celtics edging out the Heat 110-105. Kyrie Irving led the Celtics with 25 points, and Goran Dragic had 30 points for the Heat.
Time: 7:30pm ET
Arena: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
Channel: NBA TV
Boston Celtics Starting Lineup
The Boston Celtics may know their first-round opponent, but that doesn’t mean they don’t understand that there is still business to be done.
“We’ll see when we get there,” Kyrie Irving said. “I’m pretty sure I think we know who we’re going to play, but we’ll see how it pans out.”
Winning tonight’s game and Friday’s against the Pacers would go a long way towards providing somewhat of a cushion to the Celtics so they can clinch homecourt advantage in the first round.
The Celtics’ two-game winning streak over both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Pacers was snapped on Saturday against the Brooklyn Nets, but they were able to get back in the win column in the first of their home-and-home with the Miami Heat on Monday night.
Boston jumped out to a 36-17 first quarter lead and held onto the lead with Kyrie Irving leading the way. Al Horford and Jayson Tatum seemed to bounce back from their struggles with 19 points apiece. Horford had a triple-double, adding 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Marcus Smart had 16 points, and Gordon Hayward contributed 11 points off the bench.
Miami Heat Starting Lineup
After losing to this same Boston Celtics team on Monday, the Heat know they have a lot of work to do to extend their season and the final year of Dwyane Wade’s career.
“This is all hands on deck, whatever’s necessary,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. We’re fighting, scratching and clawing to try and get in this darn thing. (Every game’s) like a playoff game.”
The Heat nearly clawed back on Monday against the Celtics. They struggled out of the gates with a 19-point first quarter deficit, but they outscored the Celtics in the following three quarters. Unfortunately for Miami, it wasn’t enough to undo the early struggles.
Goran Dragic has played exceptionally well for the Heat lately, and he finished with 30 points. Bam Adebayo had 19 points and 14 rebounds and has done well in his starting role. Off the bench, the Heat got big games from their sparkplugs in Dion Waiters, who had 14 points, and Wade, who had 17 points and seven assists.
Boston Celtics at Miami Heat Betting Odds
The Boston Celtics are narrow one-point favorites to win tonight’s game on the road. Boston is 18-20 away from TD Garden and 41-22 as the favorite. The Heat are 18-21 at home and 18-20 as the underdog.
The over/under is 213 points, and the Celtis are -120 on the moneyline.
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