Heat holds out in Boston, clinch post-season berth with 106-98 win; playoff tickets on sale April 6 – Twin Cities

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Monday night’s win over the Sacramento Kings brought relief as it broke a string of four losses.

But Wednesday night’s Miami Heat 108-98 win over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden spawned something much bigger: the hopes of potentially big things to come in the postseason.

In a game that was fraught with playoff intensity to the last seconds, the Heat made a stand in the fourth quarter to cement their place at the top of the Eastern Conference and secure a playoff spot.

“What it was,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, “was just a great competition.”

The post-season berth was a given, based on what is now a 49-28 record for Spoelstra’s team. But the win brought the Heat one step closer to becoming the No. 1 overall seed in the East, on top of the conference with five games left in the regular season.

The Heat found a way, even with big nights from Boston’s leading men, with Jaylen Brown scoring 28 and Jayson Tatum 23.

Jimmy Butler led the Heat with 24 points, Kyle Lowry with 23 points and eight assists, and Bam Adebayo with 17 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. There were also 12 points and 10 rebounds from Tyler Herro.

“We had some great performances along the route,” Spoelstra said.

It was the Celtics’ biggest home loss since January 19.

“This,” said Celtics coach Ime Udoka, “was a good test for us to move forward to kind of feel what it will look like soon.”

The Heat’s three-game trip doesn’t get much easier, with Saturday’s game against the Chicago Bulls and Sunday’s game against the Toronto Raptors.

Five degrees of heat from Wednesday’s game:

1. Closing time: A wild third quarter with a Heat run of 10-0 followed by a Celtics run of 16-0 ended with Boston leading 83-79.

The Heat later gained a four point lead mid-fourth quarter over a Butler jumper, with a Butler transition dunk with 1:43 left, giving the Heat a 102-96 lead.

“Jimmy just had his fingerprints in this game,” Spoelstra said.

A Tatum layup then brought the Celtics in 102-98, with a 24 second Heat violation that followed with 1:15 left to play.

Then, with 33.6 seconds left and the Heat up four, Tatum was called up to charge Max Strus, with Boston challenging the decision. The call stood, with the Celtics losing their last timeout.

“That charge was a big momentum-changing game,” Spoelstra said.

With the Heat on 13 of 20 of the line to that leg, Adebayo then stepped to the line with 27.1 seconds left and only made the first of two free throws, the Heat held their ground from there.

2. Playoff Tickets: The Heat has announced that individual match tickets for their first-round playoff series against a yet-to-be-determined opponent will go on sale on April 6 at 10 a.m., with the team going White Hot-themed for the first time since 2018. playoffs.

The Heat opens the playoffs at the FTX Arena on April 16 or 17.

Once the tickets go on sale, there is a limit of eight tickets per household, per game.

The first sale will be for the Heat’s first three home playoffs in the best-of-seven series.

All Heat playoff games are mobile only.

Fill it in: Adebayo was at his most versatile when he flirted with a triple-double.

He was forced to play at 7:43 after Dewayne Dedmon made a mistake in his 15 minutes, closing 5 out of 10 from the field and 7 out of 9 from the line, with just one turnover.

His defense, more than his numbers, proved decisive in the end, at the heart of several of Heat’s late defense positions.

4. Lowry For Three: Lowry continued his late season gains with his three-point productivity, and this is the sixth time in the last seven games that he has converted at least three, having failed to do so in his previous five appearances.

He closed 6 of 12 from beyond the arc.

Lowry’s seventh 3-point attempt put him past Joe Johnson for 14th on the NBA all-time list.

“He just has a great spirit for competition and how to influence winning,” Spoelstra said of Lowry.

5. Again the same: Spoelstra stuck with the revamped rotation revealed in Monday’s win over the Sacramento Kings, with Strus starting in place of Duncan Robinson.

That put Robinson back into reserve, with Victor Oladipo and Markieff Morris shaken out of the mix, and their comebacks put on hold for a second consecutive game.

“Sometimes a loss can force you to make the necessary adjustments,” Spoelstra said at the Heat 2-0 with the revised line-up after the four-game slip.

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