Miami Heat

Kyrie Irving seeks 'therapeutic' shot session after loss in Miami

Kyrie Irving seeks 'therapeutic' shot session after loss in Miami

MIAMI — Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving engaged in a half-hour shooting session on the Miami Heat’s practice court following his team’s 115-99 loss on Thursday night.

Irving, addressing reporters after Boston’s entire locker room had cleared out, called the solo session, “therapeutic” and, on a night the Celtics elected to stay in Miami before flying to Orlando on Friday, Irving suggested it was better than a night out on South Beach.


"That’s my job, right? So it’s always good to get some extra work after a tough loss,” said Irving. “[The Heat] shot extremely well. They did some great things tonight. I’ve got to give credit to the Heat team today. They came prepared, made some big shots. We just couldn’t get that run. 

"I just wanted to get some extra shots, feel good going into the next game. We’re staying over in Miami, so I’d rather be in here than be out in Miami right now.”

Irving joked that his strength and conditioning guru Robin Pound would, “probably kill me for doing stuff like that,” particularly after the second night of a back-to-back, but Irving said he wanted to see some shots go in.

"just wanted to feel good about my jump shot, and shots that I missed tonight,” said Irving. "Very makeable ones. And shots that I didn’t take tonight. Just wanted to feel good about it, that’s all.”

What exactly goes on during a solo workout?

"Just imitating things that the defense was doing to me tonight and the pressure they were putting on me, and the opportunities I didn’t take advantage of,” said Irving. "I just want to feel good about it. It’s just good to get some shots up, just release some stress a little bit. After a tough loss off a back-to-back, it’s just good to see a shot go in a little bit. It’s just therapeutic.

"It’s not so much about the frustration from the game. It’s just more or less therapeutic for you just to go out there and mentally just feel good about your game and things you could have taken advantage of and you could prepare better for next game. I’m going to see different defenses all year but when you can go out there and be well-conditioned and go from the game and go up to get another workout in, it’s always good. You just want to be smart about it. But like I said, it’s just a great, great stress reliever when I see some shots go in.”

Irving, still dressed in game shorts and a tank top as he addressed reporters an hour after the game’s completion, was answering a question when the lights in Boston’s locker room went out. Told he must have shot the lights out in his session, a laughing Irving said he was “above 90 percent up there, for sure.”

Irving said it was all part of responding to adversity and learning how to react when things don’t go well.

"It’s going to get harder, especially when you have that goal of getting that gold trophy,” said Irving. “It’s going to get tough and we gotta be able to withstand plays and things that happen within a game.”

Celtics coach Brad Stevens has repeatedly noted in recent days how he didn’t think his team handled adversity particularly well early in the year but they’ve started to show more resiliency lately, a hallmark of last year’s team that overcame injuries to Irving and Gordon Hayward to surge to the fringe of the NBA Finals.


Irving said he needed to be tougher as well, calling himself out for a particularly noticeable lapse early in Thursday’s game.

“When things get tough, we just got to be able to weather the storm and tonight I don’t think we did a great job of that, just being able to withstand certain runs and be able to execute our offense, and defensively being in the right spots, including myself,” said Irving. “S---, I got dunked on tonight. I wasn’t in the right spot early on. A lot of just toughness things we can do to improve and just continue to work on that.”

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Celtics get smoked by Heat, four-game winning streak snapped

Celtics get smoked by Heat, four-game winning streak snapped

BOSTON -- Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds in Boston’s 115-99 loss to the Miami Heat.

STARS

Kyrie Irving: There wasn’t much to like about the Boston Celtics on Thursday night. But the play of Kyrie Irving was certainly one of the more positive aspects of what was an otherwise bad game. Irving had 22 points along with five rebounds and five assists.

Dwyane Wade: You can add Thursday’s game to the long list of impressive performances by Wade in what he has said will be his final NBA season. Coming off the bench, Wade had 19 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the field.

STUDS

Marcus Smart: Similar to Williams, Smart had it going from 3-point range for Boston along with some impressive plays at the rim which included him blocking an attempted dunk by Bam Adebayo. He would finish the night with 18 points which included four 3-pointers.

James Johnson: A powerful dunk in the first half was just one of the many highlight plays made early by Johnson to help the Heat take control of the game. Johnson tallied 12 points and five rebounds to go along with three assists.

Robert Williams III: He only had two points and 4 rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot, but the Celtics’ third-quarter comeback was fueled by his play. During his third quarter stint, Williams played seven minutes while having a plus/minus of +15.

Josh Richardson: You can count Richardson among the hot-handed shooters for the Heat, as Richardson scored 15 points on 6-for-12 shooting to go with six assists.

Marcus Morris: Mr. Consistency was at it again, scoring 17 points on 7-for-12 shooting to go with five rebounds, an assist, a steal and two blocked shots.

DUDS

Celtics defense: There was no resistance or toughness on the part of Boston’s defense, which allowed a poor-shooting Heat team to connect on a season-high 17 made 3-pointers.

Al Horford: This was a rough one for many Celtics players, including Al Horford. He scored just 2 points on 1-for-8 shooting from the field with four rebounds and three assists.

Celtics bench: After scoring 73 points last night, the Boston bench tallied just 23 points against the Heat, whose second unit had 60.

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NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Terry Rozier gets jersey from childhood hero Dwyane Wade

Terry Rozier gets jersey from childhood hero Dwyane Wade

Even NBA players can get starstruck and have one of those pinch-me moments. Just ask Terry Rozier.

The Celtics guard idolized Dwyane Wade when he was growing up in Ohio. He wore Wade's white Converse sneakers. He took shots like Wade when he practiced. When he was just 18 years old, Rozier even tweeted at Wade asking his hero to check out his highlights online.

On Thursday night, Rozier didn't just get to play against his idol; he had a special moment with Wade after the game, and he ended up with a souvenir that he'll no doubt treasure.

"I just never thought I'd see this day, witnessing his one last dance and actually playing against him," Rozier said after the game. "It was mandatory I got his jersey. I wouldn't let nobody else get it.

"We became good friends over the last couple of years. He'd text me right before the season starts and wish me good luck before the season, and I told him when this day comes, when we play them today, 'I need that jersey.' "

So now that Rozier has the jersey, NBC Sports Boston's Chris Forsberg asked him what he's going to do with it?

Rozier replied with a smile: "What would you do with the jersey if you had your favorite player's? Wear it, frame it, everything. Just don't let it go."

While Rozier will never forget that moment, he'd love to forget the actual game. The Celtics guard scored just four points on 1-for-8 shooting off the bench, while Wade had a team-high 19 points as the Heat won 115-99 to snap Boston's four-game win streak.

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