MIAMI - Isaiah Thomas scored 23 points before getting ejected, Avery Bradley added 20 and the Boston Celtics built a huge early lead on the way to beating the Miami Heat 105-95 on Sunday night.
Al Horford had 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Celtics. They led by 22 in the first half and beat Miami for the fifth consecutive time.
- Highlights: Boston Celtics 105, Miami Heat 95
- Stars, studs and duds: Celtics lean on Horford after Thomas ejection
- Thomas on ejection vs. Heat: 'Im far from a dirty player'
Miami turned the ball over 23 times, and Boston converted those into 24 points. And the Heat, the worst free-throw shooting team in the NBA, went 6 for 14 from the line in the fourth quarter.
Goran Dragic led all scorers with 31 points for Miami. Hassan Whiteside finished with 23 points and 17 rebounds, all but one of those rebounds coming in the second half.
Thomas was ejected with 3:02 left for elbowing Justise Winslow in the face, bloodying the Heat forward and being assessed with a flagrant-2 after a lengthy review.
Winslow missed both resulting free throws - part of that season-long Miami problem - but the Heat seemed sparked nonetheless.
In just over a minute after Thomas' ejection, the Heat had what was a 12-point deficit down to 97-93. Dragic connected on a 3-pointer from the right corner with 2:04 remaining and Tyler Johnson added a free throw not long afterward.
But Horford's three-point play with 1:29 left made it a three-possession game again, and Boston would escape.