Boston (30-15) was one of the first teams to play in the wake of the tragic news surrounding Kobe Bryant’s death and lost a 123-108 decision to the Pelicans on Sunday. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Celtics, who wrap up a three-game road trip on Tuesday. Jayson Tatum (illness, groin) is doubtful and Enes Kanter (hip) has already been ruled out for the game. Jaylen Brown scored 31 points in the first matchup between these two teams in December, a 113-92 Boston victory. The Celtics have won four straight over Miami but are just 2-5 ATS in the last seven meetings.
Miami (32-14) is playing the second game of a back-to-back after a 112-93 home win over the Magic. Bam Adebayo continued to breakout and recorded his third triple-double of the season with 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. Rookie Kendrick Nunn missed his second straight game against Orlando and will not suit up on Tuesday. Point guard Goran Dragic returned from injury and scored 14 points with five assists against the Magic. Miami leads the NBA in 3-point defense (32.8%) and have allowed the second-fewest rebounds per game (41.9). The Heat are second in the NBA in 3-point shooting (37.9%).
ESPN’s FPI gives Miami a 50.5% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Tuesday’s matchup between the Celtics and Heat.
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Celtics vs. Heat Game Details
Date: Tuesday, January 28
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: American Airlines Arena (Miami, Florida)
Spread: Heat -1.5
- SG Javonte Green (knee) questionable
- PF Jayson Tatum (groin) doubtful
- C Enes Kanter (hip) out
- SG Kendrick Nunn (Achilles) out
- Celtics are 30-15 SU and 26-17-2 ATS this season
- Heat are 32-14 SU and 26-18-2 ATS this season
- Under 25-20 in Celtics games this season
- Over is 28-17-1 in Heat games this season
Analysis & Pick
Miami has been nearly unbeatable at home this season. The Heat are 21-2 at American Airlines Center and are tied with the Bucks and 76ers for the best home record in the league. Miami has struggled against Boston historically with the Celtics leading the all-time series 73-47.
Boston allowed New Orleans to make 16-of-36 shots from the 3-point line on Sunday as the Celtics were unable to defend the arc. Considering Miami is one of the best outside shooting teams in the league, I like the matchup of the Heat shooters against the Celtic defenders.
The return of Goran Dragic will also make Miami’s offense more efficient. Dragic will help fill the void left by Kendrick Nunn, who continues to be sidelined with an Achilles injury. Jimmy Butler continues to lead the way offensively after scoring 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting in Monday’s win over Orlando. The Heat were incredibly efficient against the Magic as the five starters shot 58.8 percent from the floor.
Miami games have tended to be higher scoring this season. The Over is 8-3 in the last 11 Heat games but just 4-4 on the second night of a back-to-back. The total is achievable, but I don’t trust Boston’s offense without one of their best scorers. Bam Adebayo will dominate the paint with the best Boston rebounders sidelined. The Heat stay hot at home.
PICK: Heat -1.5
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith