Boston won the first meeting of the season back on December 4 at home, 112-93. Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker combined for 59 points in the victory, which included a monster second quarter where the Celtics outscored Miami 32-16.
However, Miami has shown to be one of the league’s best home teams. The Heat are one of three teams tied for the best home record in the NBA (Milwaukee and Philadelphia) at 21-2. One of those losses came on Friday when the Los Angeles Clippers took down Miami, 122-117. The other was to the LA Lakers in December, 113-110.
Meanwhile, the Celtics road struggles have been noticeable with Boston posting a 12-10 record away from home. That has largely been a result of inconsistent play, with losses recently at New Orleans and Washington while defeating teams like Toronto and Dallas.
Boston Celtics (30-15) at Miami Heat (32-14)
Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at 8 p.m.
AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, Fl.
*All odds and betting info courtesy of OddsShark and originally posted by BetOnline
SPREAD: Miami (-2 at -110)
MONEYLINE: Miami -155; Boston +135
OVER/UNDER: 216 (-110 either side)
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The Celtics are battling some key injuries in their frontcourt with Enes Kanter (hip), Robert Williams (hit), and Jayson Tatum (groin) all missing time during this road trip. Fortunately for the Celtics, Jaylen Brown returned from a one-game hiatus for an ankle injury.
But in the loss to the Pelicans on Sunday, Daniel Theis, Marcus Smart, and Javonte Green all hobbled off the court with minor injuries. All three returned to the game showing little sign of pain, though, and should be available for Tuesday night.
Missing Tatum has been a huge blow to the Boston offense. Jayson Tatum is averaging 21.5 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game this season.
Sitting in second place of a log-jammed Eastern Conference standings, the Heat are coming off a 113-92 win on Monday night at home over Orlando. Miami has been one of the league’s best shooting teams this year, shooting a fifth-best 47.3 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from 3-point range — second-highest in the NBA.
Part of Miami’s ability to shoot well coincides with the amount of possession they have over the course of a game. By making more shots, opponents have fewer opportunities to rebound and have been averaging the second-fewest rebounds per game (41.9) by an opponent in the league this season.
This game is more important for Boston than it is for Miami. Should the Celtics lose, they would drop two behind Miami and Toronto in the loss column while remaining just one game ahead of Indiana and Philadelphia. The Celtics hold fourth place, the final home playoff spot, in the East and need to begin its uphill climb to avoid a matchup with Milwaukee or the Sixers until the conference final.
Pick: Whether or not Tatum is available will be a big decider in this one. Though he only scored 19 points in the first matchup with Miami, he played well defensively over 34 minutes. If he’s available, the Celtics will keep it close. This one is truly a toss-up, but take Boston against the spread and the over.