Boston Celtics

Spoelstra tips cap to Celtics after blowout loss: ‘It was a humbling night'

“They put us in our place tonight."

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The Miami Heat didn't just lose to the rival Boston Celtics on Thursday night, they got blown out at home to extend their losing streak to five games.

It's the first time the Heat have lost five consecutive games since 2021.

The Celtics led from the jump, scoring 42 points in the first quarter (the most Miami has allowed in a single quarter this season) en route to a convincing 143-110 victory at Kaseya Center.

Boston shot a blistering 55 percent (22 of 40) from 3-point range. Jayson Tatum scored a game-high 26 points, and he had plenty of help as all five Celtics starters scored 15-plus points.

“We faced a very potent offensive team that's been doing this for several months now. It was a humbling night, that’s for sure,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters in his postgame press conference. “They put us in our place tonight, and you do have to respect the body of work that they’ve done so far in this season. They're the No. 1 team in the league with that record and they're doing it on both ends of the floor."

The Celtics own the league's best record at 35-10, and they are one of just two teams that rank top five in both offensive and defensive rating, along with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Heat have been a thorn in the Celtics' side in recent seasons. They have defeated the C's in the Eastern Conference Finals twice over the last four years, including a Game 7 victory at TD Garden in 2023.

Even though the Heat are struggling right now and need to figure out how to incorporate newly acquired guard Terry Rozier into the lineup, it would be foolish to write them off.

No team is better than Miami at making in-season adjustments. And it doesn't matter whether the Heat have homecourt advantage in the playoffs -- just ask the Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks. This is an experienced, proud group of players with arguably the best coach in the sport. The Heat are one game out of sixth place in the East, so it's not like they're in a dire place right now.

These two teams will play again Feb. 11 in Miami. It's their final matchup of the regular season. But would it be surprising if they met again at some point in May? Absolutely not.

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