After winning nine games in a row, the Boston Celtics dropped their second game in a row on January 24, falling to the Miami Heat in a game that came down to the wire. But in the final minutes of the game, Boston’s offense fell apart, and they lost the game.
Boston led by as many as 14 points in the third quarter, but they were dismantled. On the final full possession of the game, the Celtics didn’t call a timeout and chose to simply run their offense. But Jayson Tatum threw the ball away, ultimately leading to a loss. He took the blame for the defeat, and the final possession, after the game.
“I think not calling a timeout was smart. It’s on me,” Tatum said via Souichi Terada of MassLive. “They trust me in that situation to make the right play. Regardless of being in a double team or not, I can’t let us down like that.”
With seven seconds left on the clock, Tatum held the ball on the wing above the three-point line. Gabe Vincent and Max Strus doubled him, but instead of hitting the roll man or kicking the ball to Derrick White on the opposite wing, he attempted to skip the pass to Grant Williams in the opposite corner.
Head coach Joe Mazzulla’s lack of timeout caused some uproar on social media, but Tatum’s bad pass was ultimately the deciding factor in the contest. He had a solid game otherwise, but his actions on that play left much to be desired.
Tatum put up an efficient performance, dropping 31 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists on 9-of-18 shooting from the floor and 2-of-5 shooting from behind the three-point line. However, in the fourth quarter, he shot 1-of-4 from the field, scoring three points, and was a -10 in the plus/minus column.
Bam Adebayo Sounds Off on Celtics-Heat Rivalry
With Boston’s loss, the Celtics moved to 2-2 on the season against the Heat, the same team they faced off against in the Eastern Conference Finals last year. They’ve had a long rivalry dating back to the early 2010s when LeBron James’ Heat squads and Paul Pierce’s Celtics teams.
Ahead of their January 24 matchup, Heat big man Bam Adebayo spoke about the rivalry and what it means to play the Celtics.
“Obviously, it’s history there from before we were here,” Adebayo told Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “And some people still carry that weight, and it’s one of those things that you’ve just got to inherit. Some people just don’t understand it, they don’t get it. But when the Celtics come in we always try to make it a dogfight.”
Jaylen Brown Proclaims Confidence in Celtics
“I just play the game,” Brown told NBC Sports Boston. “I mean, I’ll let you guys determine what is the options. We’re not number one and number two, I just come out and play the game. The moment you start thinking that is the moment that I think that you’ll start doubting yourself or – there’s no need to come out and play the game any other way than how I normally play. And that’s how I see it. Tonight, we was out guys. Obviously, I would get more attention. But tonight, we had guys step up. We had Payton [Pritchard] come out and play really well. Grant [Williams] came out and got hot. And that’s what we need. We’re a team. So, it doesn’t matter who rolls the ball out or which team is doing what, I got my money on the C’s. I don’t know if I can say that.”