Boston Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla, known for his love of movies, made headlines last season for frequently watching “The Town.” Recently, he added another cinematic favorite, the 1993 crime drama “A Bronx Tale,” to his repertoire, giving it his enthusiastic approval. Interestingly, a line from that movie perfectly encapsulated his sentiment after the Celtics’ decisive win against the Heat: “Nobody cares.”
In a commanding performance, Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 26 points, supported by Kristaps Porzingis with 19 before the latter suffered a left ankle sprain. The Celtics made an impressive 22 three-pointers, contributing to their overwhelming 143-110 victory over the struggling Miami Heat, who faced their fifth consecutive loss.
Mazzulla, while acknowledging the significance of the win, maintained a professional outlook, emphasizing the need to extract valuable lessons for the upcoming games. “This game was really good, but it means nothing at all in the grand scheme of things if we don’t take the lessons that we need to and apply it to the next game,” he remarked. “So, we’ll enjoy it until we get to the plane, and then it’s on to the next one.”
The game offered several positives for the Celtics. The 143 points marked the highest-ever score Boston achieved against Miami, and the 33-point margin represented their most lopsided win in the 172 meetings between the two franchises, including playoffs. Boasting a 64% shooting accuracy, the Celtics also dominated the rebound battle, securing a 47-31 advantage.
Contributions came from multiple players, with Jaylen Brown scoring 18 points, Jrue Holiday adding 17, and Derrick White contributing 15. The NBA-leading Celtics improved their record to 35-10 and maintained a perfect 2-0 record this season against the team that defeated them in the last season’s Eastern Conference finals.
Reflecting on the team’s growth, Tatum stated, “We just learned from last year, getting so close and not getting over that hump.”
For the Miami Heat, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro each scored 19 points, with Jimmy Butler adding 17. However, the Heat found themselves in their longest losing streak since March 2021.
The Celtics quickly asserted their dominance, initiating an 18-7 run in the opening quarter to establish a 40-25 lead. By halftime, the Celtics led 77-64, firmly in control of the game.
Miami struggled defensively, allowing Boston to score 111 points by the end of the third quarter. The final quarter saw the Celtics extend their lead to 34 points, underscoring Miami’s challenges.
Coach Erik Spoelstra acknowledged the potency of Boston’s offense, describing the night as “humbling.” He noted, “They put us in our place tonight.”
As the Celtics celebrate this impressive victory, Mazzulla’s focus on continuous improvement echoes the professional ethos embedded in the team. The lessons learned from this game will undoubtedly shape their approach to future challenges, ensuring a resilient and competitive season.