For most of Monday’s game between Boston and Miami, Avery Bradley’s impact was with his scoring.
But in the game’s closing minutes, it was Bradley’s defense that positioned the Celtics for a much-needed victory.
Bradley’s block of a Dwyane Wade shot attempt led to a free throw by Evan Turner – and a lay-up by Turner after he missed the second free throw – that sealed the Celtics’ 105-95 win.
Wade led all scorers with 30 points and his all-star sidekick Chris Bosh chipped in with 21 points.
But the story of this game was Bradley, who led the Celtics with 25 points and a number of clutch plays defensively.
However, none was as important as the blocked shot with less than two minutes to play of Wade who along with Bosh, carried the Heat for most of the night offensively.
In the closing seconds, Miami began to foul Boston players in hopes of somehow pulling out a miracle finish. But that would not be the case as the Celtics (10-8) continue to play some of their best basketball on second night of a back-to-back set of games.
Even though the Celtics led for most of the night, the Heat were never out of it. Not surprisingly, keeping them in the game was the play of Wade and Bosh who combined to score 18 of Miami’s 20 fourth-quarter points.
A layup by Bosh cut Boston’s lead to 96-93 with less than two minutes to play. However, Miami (10-6) was unable to get any closer as the Celtics closed out the game with a 9-2 run.
Boston’s strong kick at the end of the game was similar to how they finished previous quarters.
The Green Team trailed by as many as six points in the first quarter, but led 32-23 after the first courtesy of a 16-6 run to end the quarter.
The Celtics had a strong 14-6 run near the end of the second quarter which paved the way for a 57-51 Boston lead at the half.