Jayson Tatum just missed a triple-double with 26 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, and the Boston Celtics held off a late comeback attempt by the Miami Heat in Sunday's 110-106 victory that extended their winning streak to four games.
Kristaps Porzingis added 25 points and nine rebounds to help Boston defeat Miami for the third time in as many meetings this season. The Heat ousted the Celtics in seven games in last season's Eastern Conference finals.
Miami had a two-game winning streak snapped and was playing without leading scorer Jimmy Butler, who is away from the team due to the death of a family member. The Heat also lost starting guard Terry Rozier to a knee injury in the third quarter.
Porzingis had 16 first-half points as Boston took a 59-50 lead into the break, and the Celtics were up by as many as 15 points in the third quarter and owned a seemingly comfortable 94-82 advantage with 9 1/2 minutes left to play.
The Heat then went on a 10-2 run to get back in it, however, and later cut their deficit to two when Tyler Herro drilled a 3-pointer with 1:49 remaining that trimmed Boston's lead to 106-104.
Miami came up empty on its next two possessions, though, and Porzingis and Tatum combined to go 4 for 4 from the free-throw line in the late stages to put the game away.
Leaving with the Wpic.twitter.com/iROzmbhNUt— Boston Celtics (@celtics) February 11, 2024
Herro scored 22 of his 24 points in the second half to lead the Heat, who also received 22 points and 13 rebounds from Bam Adebayo.
Gilgeous-Alexander, Williams carry Thunder past Kings
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 38 points and Jalen Williams chipped in 32 as the Oklahoma City Thunder got back on track with a 127-113 win over the Sacramento Kings.
Both players had hot shooting performances to help the Thunder bounce back from consecutive road losses to Utah and Dallas and move a half-game behind the Minnesota Timberwolves for first place in the Western Conference. Gilgeous-Alexander finished 15 of 26 from the field while adding seven assists, while Williams was 13 of 20 to go along with nine rebounds.
The duo also recorded 19 first-half points each, with Williams producing eight during a 12-0 run that turned a tied game into a 41-29 Oklahoma City lead four minutes into the second quarter.
Oklahoma City took a 67-57 advantage into half-time before pulling away further in the third quarter, building a lead as large as 24 points.
Super Bowl Sunday final in OKC pic.twitter.com/pRFynqcqIU— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) February 11, 2024
Sacramento's Domantas Sabonis recorded 21 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists for his 17th triple-double of the season, two more than Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokić for the NBA lead.
Malik Monk had 26 points off the bench for the Kings, who have now lost three of their last four games. De'Aaron Fox finished with 15 points but was held to 6-of-17 shooting.