With 10 games left, Heat look to finish playoff push

Boston Celtics: Why Trading Isaiah Thomas Might Not Be A Crazy Idea

Even after that shot, the Heat seemingly had a chance when Marcus Smart made one of two free throws after an intentional Miami foul. While the Heat were competitive in this one, the Celtics at times appeared to be a more cohesive unit.

The streak has Boston one-half game behind first-place Cleveland in the Eastern Conference entering Saturday, but coach Brad Stevens wants a complete effort from his team after watching Booker make things interesting in the second half. He needs four more triple-doubles to tie Oscar Robertson's single-season record of 41 set in 1961-62.

"This is that time of the year", Spoelstra said.

Heat center Hassan Whiteside leads the National Basketball Association in rebounding and ranks third in blocked shots for an essential balance to the dominant shooting that stretches from Dragic and Waiters to key bench players Tyler Johnson, James Johnson and Wayne Ellington.

Boston, which has won its past seven at home, took the initial lead but Miami held the edge the remainder of the first half. Meanwhile the Celtics are within a breath of the #1 seed just a half game behind the Cleveland Cavaliers.

- James Johnson had himself a moment early in the second quarter, with a block on Al Horford on one end, a baseline dunk on the other, to put the Heat up 38-26.

In many ways, Johnson's ability to be below-the-radar but present inside the Celtics locker room, isn't all that different than what he does between the lines every night for Boston. The Heat trail the Washington Wizards (45-28) by 9.5 games in the Southeast Division standings. James Johnson and Tyler Johnson were tremendous, especially in the fourth quarter.

With 3:53 left in the game, Crowder drained a 3-pointer to recapture the Celtics lead (102-101) and ignited the loudest roar of the night at TD Garden.

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The contest featured two top MVP candidates in Westbrook and Houston's James Harden. This game's over/under comes in at a combined 209 points.

After pit stops in Memphis, Cleveland, Phoenix, Sacramento and the D-League, 26-year-old Seth Curry had been getting an extended look as Dallas' starting guard before moving to starting point guard on Thursday. It is worth noting that Johnson still had about 30 fantasy points against the Raptors, while shooting just 3/14 from the field.

At the close of a 42-minute segment Thursday on "The Dan Patrick Show", TNT analyst Charles Barkley used the opportunity to praise Patrick and offer an idea.

"You know what? I've said this before".

"I'm trying to make plays for guys", said Smart, who dished out a game-high nine assists. "I really just threw it and was like, 'Whoever [can] get it, get it.' The right play was to kick it out, and that's what I did". "I don't want to go to prison". They have something to say about it as well. "Go celebrate with your team and let victory vouch you".

There's an anticipation at the end of Boston Celtics games now, a suspense that builds as fans wonder how exactly Marcus Smart will find a way to overcome a poor shooting night to make the biggest play of the game.

The timetable for a potential Durant return from his knee injury should get an update later this week after a four-week absence from play.

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