Boston Celtics at Miami Heat
When: 7:30 PM ET, Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
MIAMI – The Boston Celtics continue their fight for homecourt advantage in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs while the Miami Heat are desperate to hang onto the eighth and final playoff spot as the teams finish a home-and-home set Wednesday in Florida. The Celtics bested the Heat at home 110-105 on Monday to remain in fourth place in the East by virtue of a tiebreaker with fifth-place Indiana.
“We’ll see when we get there,” guard Kyrie Irving told reporters of the first round of the playoffs. “I’m pretty sure I think we know who we’re going to play, but we’ll see how it pans out.”
Irving had 25 points in the contest as he helped hand Miami just its fifth loss in the last 16 games, leaving the Heat a half-game up on ninth-place Orlando in the East. Goran Dragic led Miami with 30 points while Dwyane Wade added 17 in his final regular-season visit to Boston. Following Wednesday’s contest, the Heat play three of their final four games on the road, including a finale at fellow playoff hopeful Brooklyn on April 10.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBATV, NBCS Boston, FS Sun (Miami)
ABOUT THE CELTICS (46-32): Center Al Horford picked up his first triple-double in a Boston uniform with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against Miami on Monday. “I don’t think we can overstate his importance to our team,” coach Brad Stevens told reporters of Horford, who is averaging 19.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists over his last five games. Forward Gordon Hayward chipped in 11 points off the bench and has reached double figures in a season-high five straight games.
ABOUT THE HEAT (38-39): Center Bam Adebayo contributed 18 points and 14 rebounds at Boston for his third double-double in the last five games. Each of those contests has been decided by single digits as Miami fights for a spot in the postseason amid a string of games with near-playoff intensity. “We just could not get it over the hump to close out the game,” coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters Monday after his team missed a host of 3-pointers down the stretch to finish 10-of-37 from beyond the arc.
1. Heat SG Josh Richardson (heel) missed three straight games and SF Justise Winslow (thigh) sat out each of the last nine.
2. Celtics SF Jaylen Brown (back spasms) missed Monday’s contest and is day-to-day.
3. The home team has won each of the first three meetings.