Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) blocks Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, left, on a drive to the basket during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Monday, April 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Miami Heat Fall to Celtics, But Maintain East’s Last Playoff Spot

Teetering around .500 for the Miami Heat is no surprise, given their up and down play this season.  Last night, the Heat fell 110-105 against the Boston Celtics, dropping Miami to 38-39 on the season. Despite a losing record, Miami still holds the last playoff spot in the East but by just a half game.

Game Recap

Miami dug itself into a hole early, trailing 36-17 after the first quarter. By halftime, it was still 61-47 Boston. The beginning of the third quarter had the Heat down 23, but the team stormed back at the midway point, cutting the deficit to eight.

Goran Dragic put forth a 30-point effort in the loss and made some integral plays like the ones below. This third-quarter steal and layup provided the fire the Heat needed going into the fourth period.

https://twitter.com/MiamiHEAT/status/1112882622114484224

In the final quarter of the game, Dragic once again helped put Miami in a position to win. This time, a pass to Bam Adebayo saw him put his nickname to good use.

In the last 36 seconds, four points separated the two teams in TD Garden, but the home team came out with the dub. In addition to Dragic, Kelly Olynyk (14), Adebayo (19), Dion Waiters (14), and Dwyane Wade (17) notched double-digit performances.

Injury Report

Miami starter Derrick Jones Jr. suffered an injury to his right knee during the first half of the game and did not return. The team reports Jones Jr. will be re-evaluated for the Heat’s next game.

Jones Jr. registered one point and two rebounds in the 17 minutes he played. He joins Josh Richardson, Rodney McGruder, and Justise Winslow on the injury list. However, McGruder and Winslow will be re-evaluated to get back on the court for the next game.

Looking Ahead

On Wednesday, Miami will return Boston’s favor and host the Celtics in the American Airlines Arena.

The Heat lead the Orlando Magic by a half game for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.  The Magic lost to Toronto, but despite that loss, ESPN’s BPI Playoff Odds give the Magic a 76% chance to crack the postseason, while Miami is only given 46.4% chance. Four of the team’s final five opponents (Celtics, Raptors, 76ers, Nets) are currently projected to make the playoffs, with only the Timberwolves falling below eighth place. Three of Orlando’s last four match ups (Knicks, Hawks, Hornets) rank outside playoff contention, with only the Celtics making a surefire run.

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