MIAMI (AP) — Jayson Tatum scored 29 points, Jaylen Brown added 28, and the Boston Celtics beat the Miami Heat 111-104 on Friday night in a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Finals.
The Celtics – whose last trip to Miami was a victory in Game 7 of this playoff series – beat Miami 42-24 from 3-point range and improved to 2-0 under interim coach Joe Mazzulla.
Tyler Herro scored 25 points for Miami, including 19 from Jimmy Butler, 18 from Bam Adebayo and 17 from Kyle Lowry.
Miami cut a 14-point deficit to five behind, before back-to-back paint hoops from Tatum and the Celtics held up.
“We have a great team and we always try to understand each other,” Tatum said. “And I love playing against the Heat. We’ve got a bit of history here the last two years, and they push you. They make you a better team. They’ve got a lot of fire, a lot of great players, a great coach .
It’s Miami’s first 0-2 start since 2007-08 – meaning it’s Erik Spoelstra’s first in 15 years as Heat coach. Miami had been one of only two teams without a 0-2 start in the past 15 seasons; now Portland is the only team on that list.
Boston led by a whopping 11 in the first half, took a 59-51 lead into the break and extended the lead to 12 when Brown made back-to-back baskets to open the third quarter.
That’s around when Miami had perhaps its best party night ever. A 20-6 run by the Heat, with Herro and Lowry each scoring six points, gave Miami a 71-69 advantage — its first lead since midway through the first quarter.
But when Adebayo received his fourth foul, then a technical foul, the situation changed. He got out and Boston took off.
The Celtics tied Miami’s 20-6 run with a 20-6 flurry, with Tatum scoring eight of those points, Grant Williams finishing with a pair of 3s and it was 89-77 heading into fourth.
Celtics: Boston has now won four straight in Miami, dating back to last season’s Eastern Finals. The Celtics’ longest winning streak in Miami is five, achieved twice (1988-90, 2015-17). … The Celtics had a 27-18 advantage scoring off the bench. … Williams and Derrick White each scored 10 for Boston.
Heat: Spoelstra has now faced 104 different coaches in his NBA career, having faced Mazzulla for the first time. … Victor Oladipo (left knee) missed his second game in a row. He hasn’t made an October appearance in the NBA since 2018.
The Heat paid tribute to Celtics great Bill Russell throughout the night, even with staff wearing t-shirts with a big “6” on them – a nod to Russell’s jersey number, which is now on a banner also swinging in the Miami arena. Miami also had a moment of silence before the game for referee Tony Brown, who died Thursday after an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
Celtics: Visit Orlando on Saturday night.
Chaleur: Host Toronto Saturday night.