Injury-riddled Heat beat Celtics 93-86
BOSTON (AP) -- Goran Dragic had 22 points and seven assists, and the banged-up Miami Heat beat the Boston Celtics 93-86 on Wednesday night.
Luol Deng scored 15 points for Miami, and Udonis Haslem had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Henry Walker and Tyler Johnson also scored 12 points apiece.
Miami played without Dwyane Wade, Hassan Whiteside and Chris Andersen due to injuries, but bounced back quite nicely from Tuesday night's disappointing 89-88 loss at Milwaukee. The Heat blew a 14-point lead in the final 6 1/2 minutes against the Bucks.
Miami (33-38) has won four of six and is seventh in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Jae Crowder scored 16 points and Avery Bradley had 12 for the Celtics, who remained in the East's eighth and final playoff position.
Wade, who averages a team-high 21.6 points, was sidelined by a swollen left knee that he hurt in the loss to Milwaukee. Whiteside received 10 stitches on his right hand after he was cut in the second quarter against the Bucks, and Andersen was out with a bruised left calf.
But Miami led by 17 at halftime against Boston and carried an 82-62 advantage into the final period.
Just like in Tuesday's game against Milwaukee, the Heat became passive in the fourth, taking their time with most offensive possessions, and the Celtics mounted a comeback.
Boston (31-40) closed it to 89-83 with 2 minutes left. But the Heat closed it out at the line.
Dragic scored 17 points in the first half to help Miami to a 57-40 lead at the break. The Heat finished the second quarter with a 9-2 run.
Dragic and Boston's Isaiah Thomas were teammates in Phoenix, but both were dealt at the trade deadline after being part of a messy three point-guard mix with the Suns.
Heat: Coach Erik Spoelstra was still bothered watching tape of Tuesday's loss. "I went over it on the plane last night, that's like kicking yourself in the gut over and over and over," he said. "Then waking up in the morning when you feel worse and go through that process again."
Celtics: Thomas returned after missing eight games with a bruised lower back. Coach Brad Stevens didn't think he'd limit his minutes. "I'm going to just kind of gauge and see how it's going," he said. Thomas finished with four points in 20 minutes.
Heat: At Atlanta on Friday.
Celtics: Host New York Knicks on Friday.