Coming off a 130-124 win over the Celtics on Sunday, the Heat showed the scoring balance — even without Butler — that carried them to the Eastern Conference title over Boston last season.
“That’s who we are when we’re at our best,” Spoelstra said. “The more weapons we have, we’re a more viable team.”
Both teams tightened up defensively in the third quarter, and it became more physical, with Boston’s Marcus Smart briefly having words with Robinson after the pair went to the floor hard when Smart was called for a foul.
Robinson scored eight of his 13 third-quarter points during a 17-4 spree that pushed Miami’s lead to 93-77. The Heat led by 14 entering the final quarter.
Dragic’s 3 gave the Heat a 105-84 edge with 9:02 to play, bringing some boos cascading down from the crowd filled to 25% percent capacity.
“I feel like this is what every player works for when the lights are on,” Herro said. “I’m ready to make another run again.”
Heat: Butler went to floor in pain late in the second quarter but stayed in after Miami called timeout. … Herro had 13 points in the second quarter, getting by Boston rookie Payton Pritchard for some easy looks.
Celtics: Stevens said Brown had already left Boston and will have the procedure later this week. “You feel for Jaylen, he had a great year,” Stevens said. “He’s such an important part of us as we move forward.” … C Robert Williams III missed the game with left foot turf toe. … Stevens was whistled for a technical in the second quarter.
EARLY INJURY SCARE
Walker left in the game’s opening two minutes with an apparent left shoulder injury after colliding with Adebayo after grabbing a rebound.
Walker immediately dropped the ball, in play near the baseline in front of Miami’s bench as he walked off, heading down a runway toward the locker room with 10:13 left.
Tatum ran back to get the ball as Stevens screamed for guard Carsen Edwards, who took Walker’s place after a Celtics’ timeout. Walker returned with 6:25 left in the quarter.
Heat: Host the 76ers on Thursday night. Miami lost both previous meetings, in Philadelphia, coming on consecutive days in January.
Celtics: At Cleveland on Wednesday night.
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