MIAMI - NOVEMBER 11: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat during a game against the Boston Celtics at American Airlines Arena on November 11 2010 in Miami Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and/or using this Photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Miami Heat Fall To Boston Celtics Again, 112-107

The Miami Heat fell to 5-4 on the season with a 112-107 loss to the Boston Celtics in South Beach tonight. Lebron James nearly had a triple-double and Ray Allen put on a shooting display from range.

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Celtics Vs. Heat: Lack Of Defense Costs Miami The Game

It would be easy to lay the blame for the Miami Heat's loss to the Boston Celtics at LeBron James' feet. It would also be easy to lay blame at the LeBron/Dwyane Wade/Chris Bosh trio's ability to play well together offensively. But really, the Heat's shortcomings were all on the defensive end.

Miami allowed Boston to score 120.4 points per 100 possessions, which is completely unacceptable. They enabled Boston to shoot nearly 55 percent from the field, surrendering wide open look after wide open look. SB Nation's Heat blog Peninsula is Mightier was also confused about why the Heat didn't play good defense last night.

I was pretty surprised that Miami was able to get even closer because their defense was just so bad.  Possession after possession Boston was getting easy bucket after easy bucket, and it just makes you wonder what happened to that stifling Heat D that led the league not long ago.     

The obvious explanation is that Miami got pushed around, but really, they were just a step slow on their rotations. Wade did a very poor job of staying with Ray Allen, and that really cost the Heat.

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Celtics Vs. Heat: Great Team Play Leads Boston Over Miami

If you watched the Boston Celtics defeat the Miami Heat 112-107 last night, you probably came away thinking the Celtics played like a team, whereas the Heat played like a collective of individuals. If so, you came away with the same conclusion that SB Nation's Celtics Blog came away with. 

Noting the number of assists, Celtics Blog declared that we can file this win under the "Team Win" category.

We can file this under the "Team Win" category. The ball movement was excellent (24 assists), and Ray Allen was a one-man wrecking crew, scoring 35 points on 13-23 shooting. He made his first seven three-point field goals, and finished 7-9 overall from three-point nation.     

Allen was certainly big, but another key was Boston's ability to execute down the stretch. In their loss to Dallas earlier in the week, the Celtics struggled because they weren't able to set up a good play down two in the closing seconds. Against the Heat, however, the Celtics were able to make smart decisions offensively to hold off Miami's comeback attempt.

Overall, the Celtics' fourth quarter execution was much better tonight compared to what we saw in Dallas on Monday    

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Miami Heat Fall To Boston Celtics Again, 112-107

The honeymoon is over for the Miami Heat. The Boston Celtics walked into South Beach and rolled to a 112-107 victory over the Heat tonight, the second win over Miami this season. The loss, Miami's second in a row, drops the Heat to 5-4 on the season. After all the offseason talk of Lebron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, the Heat have struggled to live-up to expectations over the first nine games while working to find a chemistry together.

The Celtics led this one from start to finish, pulling away early and staying in control throughout. Ray Allen was deadly from three-point land, hitting seven threes and finishing with a game-high 35 points. Rajon Rondo played distributor for the Celtics, dishing out 16 assists. Kevin Garnett led Boston on the boards, pulling down 13 rebounds and scoring 16 points.

James narrowly missed a triple-double in a losing effort with 35 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Bosh and Wade, James' partners in crime, had slow nights for the Heat. Wade chipped-in eight points and three assists, but turned the ball over six times. Bosh added 15 points and seven rebounds.

When Wade wondered aloud whether the world would come crashing down if the Heat struggled, who knew we'd find out so soon. Nine games in and Miami has its first losing streak of the season and sits one game over .500, still unable to find a way to beat Boston. The Celtics improved to 7-2 on the year with the win.

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