FINAL SCORE: Miami Heat 112, Boston Celtics 106
IN BRIEF: The race for the No. 3 seed got a little more interesting Tuesday night after the Miami Heat defeated the Boston Celtics in the NBA's Orlando bubble.
The Celtics' lead over the Heat for third place in the Eastern Conference standings is now only 1.5 games. Each team has five seeding games remaining, and the C's own the tiebreaker.
Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Nets, which begins Wednesday at 8 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 9 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.
The Heat came into this seeding game as the league's best 3-point shooting team, and they caught fire at the perfect time against the Celtics. Boston trimmed the deficit to 102-98 with 3:19 remaining in the fourth quarter, but Miami pushed its lead back to 10 points with two clutch 3-point shots from Duncan Robinson.
Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 23 points, while Jaylen Brown chipped in 18 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Bam Adebayo and Robinson paced the Heat with 21 points apiece. Miami's win is even more impressive when you consider its best player, Jimmy Butler, didn't play due to right ankle soreness.
CELTICS RECORD: 44-23 (1-2 in seeding round)
Gordon Hayward drove to the basket and threw down a two-handed slam early in the first quarter.
Only James Harden and Buddy Hield have made more 3-point shots than Duncan Robinson this season.
WARNING: Duncan Robinson is heating up. pic.twitter.com/bg91V9klV3— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) August 4, 2020
Tatum's mini run at the end of the first quarter helped Boston keep the score close.
Hayward lost his defender with a sweet crossover and hit the shot for the and-1 in the second quarter.
Adebayo is a great rebounder, and he made the C's pay on the offensive glass in this sequence.
Stop him. We dare you. pic.twitter.com/gzvSsS1Rrx— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) August 4, 2020
Tatum's sidestep 3-pointers are so difficult to defend.
JT for 3️⃣ pic.twitter.com/212IKL1Cz5— Boston Celtics (@celtics) August 5, 2020
Brown exploded to the basket for a powerful dunk early in the second half.
Kemba Walker from halfcourt!
Hayward got another and-1 as the C's tried to make a fourth-quarter comeback.
AND ONE ☘️ pic.twitter.com/uYcmKaLCHT— Boston Celtics (@celtics) August 5, 2020
Daniel Theis ran the floor and got rewarded here.
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) August 5, 2020
Robinson put the game away with two 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter.
You can't hit a three-pointer more perfect than this:— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) August 5, 2020
👀 the net pic.twitter.com/bYsqTmQ0ys
The Celtics will be right back at it Wednesday night against the Brooklyn Nets. It is the only time Boston will play back-to-back seeding games. The Nets, who also will be playing the second game of a back-to-back, defeated the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday afternoon. NBC Sports Boston will have complete coverage of Celtics-Nets beginning at 8 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live. Tip off is scheduled for 9 p.m.