On Tuesday, August 4th the Boston Celtics (44-22) and the Miami Heat (42-24) battle each other in the third of eight games remaining in the abbreviated regular season. The matchup will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla.
The Celtics and Heat have both safely punched their playoff tickets but playoff seeding is still up for grabs. Tipoff is set for 6.30 pm EST and can be seen live on TNT. Oddsmakers peg Boston as a 3.5 favorite in the matchup.
What to Know – Boston Celtics
The Celtics enter third in the Eastern Conference with just a 2.5 game cushion over the Heat. Boston bounced back with a 128-124 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers after falling to the Milwaukee Bucks in their first game since the league pause. Boston sits four games behind the Toronto Raptors for second place in the standings.
After shooting just 2-for-18 from the field and scoring just five points in the first game since the restart, forward Jayson Tatum poured in a team-high 34 points on 11-for-22 shooting from the floor. Jaylen Brown added 30 points for the Celtics on 10-of-18 shooting, including 75% (6-of-8) from beyond the arc.
Boston came out on top in the previous two meetings against the Heat this season. In the second meeting, the Celtics played just eight players. The short rotation proved to be efficient with the five starters all scoring in double-figures.
One of the healthiest teams in the league, the Celtics enter Tuesday nights contest with no known injuries or absences.
What to Know – Miami Heat
Miami will be playing their second game in as many days after suffering a 4-point defeat to the Raptors on Monday afternoon. At one point, the Heat battled back from a 15-point deficit to take a 3-point lead in the fourth quarter. However, an extended scoring drought ultimately led to the Raptors regaining the lead for good.
Goran Dragic came off the bench to lead the team in scoring with 25 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the floor. Jimmy Butler (4-9 FG, 8-8 FT) and Jae Crowder (6-14 FG, 4-10 3PT) each chipped in 16-points apiece in the loss.
In the two matchups against the Celtics this season the Heat, Butler averaged 28.5 points in the contests. Dracic netted a team-high 23 points in the last meeting back in January.
Miami clings to a one-game advantage over the Indian Pacers for fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The Heat are 4-6 this season in the second game of a back-to-back schedule.
The Pick is In
The old saying goes it’s hard to beat a team three times, and statistically, both the teams are very similar. With Miami coming off a game on Monday, look for the Celtics to have a slight edge in the conditioning department and pull away from the Heat late in the second half. Take the Celtics -3.5.