LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Bam Adebayo had 21 points and 12 rebounds, and the Miami Heat never trailed in beating the Boston Celtics 111-106 Tuesday to remain alone in the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Celtics had their lead for the No. 3 seed cut to 1 1/2 games over the Heat. Miami has a game lead on Indiana and improved to 2-1 so far in the seeding games, despite Jimmy Butler sitting out with a sore right ankle after playing Monday in a loss to Toronto.
Duncan Robinson also had 21 points for Miami. Goran Dragic added 20 off the bench, Kelly Olynyk scored 15 and Tyler Herro 11.
Jayson Tatum led Boston with 23 points. Jaylen Brown had 13 points and 10 rebounds, Gordon Hayward and Kemba Walker each added 15 points and Enes Kanter scored 10.
Walker, who beat the buzzer with a shot from mid-court at the end of the third, hit a 3 with 1:26 left to pull Boston within 108-101. Daniel Theis hit a pair of free throws with 19.8 seconds left, then Dragic traveled. Walker hit another 3 with 13 seconds remaining to pull Boston within 109-106.
Andre Iguodala hit a free throw, and Robinson hit two more in the final seconds for Miami’s first win in three games against Boston this season.
Miami scored the first bucket and led by as much as 10 before being up 33-28 at the end of the first quarter. The Heat pushed that lead to as much as 16 in the second quarter with a 10-point spurt capped by four free throws by Adebayo. The last pair, with 51.6 left, made it 63-47. Miami led 63-51 at halftime.
The Celtics went on a 16-3 run to pull within 69-68 on an alley-oop dunk by Theis off a pass from Tatum with 6:08 left in the third. The Heat answered with a 14-2 spurt capped by a three-point play by Adebayo with 3:20 to go for an 83-71 lead. Miami led 91-83 at the end of the third.
Celtics: Marcus Smart fouled out with 3:46 left in the third. He was 0 of 5 with three points and two steals in 16 minutes.
Heat: Iguodala knocked down the 1,000th 3-pointer of his career with 5:16 left in the second quarter, giving Miami a 50-41 lead. … Dragic limped to the locker room after landing awkwardly on his left ankle in the final seconds.
Celtics: Play Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night.
Heat: Play Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday.