The Boston Celtics made a late run against the Heat on Tuesday, but ultimately their defense failed them as Miami ran away with a 120-107 victory.
The 120 points Boston allowed on Tuesday were more than they allowed in all but one game last season. Miami scored early and often as as Jeff Clark of SB Nation's CelticsBlog noted, that type of a defensive performance won't get it done.
Lack of defense is the theme of the night as the Celtics simply couldn't stop the Heat in transition or even in the half court. The Heat had 93 points at the end of 3 quarters. You just don't win many games that way. Especially against the defending champs.
Unlike previous matchups, it wasn't just one player hurting the Celtics. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Ray Allen all scored at least 19 points. The Celtics tried different lineups and defensive matchups, but nothing seemed to slow down the Heat.
Even as Boston was making a comeback late in the fourth quarter to cut the Miami lead to four, the Celtics were unable to get the stops they needed on the defensive end. While it is only one loss in a long season, as Clark said, Tuesday's game shows how much work Boston has to dethrone the champs.
The Heat are very good, but the Celtics should have been better on defense tonight. Tough to take loss that reminds us just how far we have to go to get past them.