Goran Dragic scored 27 points, Dion Waiters had 26 with a pair of big three-pointers in the final minutes and the Miami Heat held on to beat Boston 104-98 on Wednesday night in Miami, snapping the Celtics’ 16-game winning streak.
Tyler Johnson scored 16 points for Miami, which saw what was an 18-point lead cut to one in the final moments. The Heat shot 49% and outrebounded the Celtics 48-37.
Kyrie Irving scored 23 points for Boston. Jayson Tatum added 18, and Jaylen Brown and Marcus Morris each had 14.
The Celtics got down by 18 in the first half, which has been a very comfortable place for Boston this season. Boston had overcome 18-point deficits against Oklahoma City and Charlotte, a 17-point hole against Golden State, a 16-pointer against Atlanta and rallied from 13 down to win in Dallas this week.
The Celtics almost did it again.
Down by 14 midway through the fourth, the unflappable Celtics went on a 13-0 run in just about three minutes — getting to 91-90 when Smart made one of two free throws with 3:14 left.
Waiters decided that was close enough. His three-pointer from the left wing bounced off the rim, then the top of the backboard, before falling to end Miami’s scoreless drought. Waiters added another three-pointer over Al Horford to make the lead seven, Hassan Whiteside had a big tip-in with 1:10 left and Miami would hang on from there.
at Cleveland 119, Brooklyn 109: LeBron James shook off a blow to the face and scored 23 points in the fourth quarter — including 18 straight for Cleveland — and the Cavaliers beat the Nets for a sixth consecutive victory.
James needed stitches in the third quarter to close a gash above his lip that drew blood. He punched back at the Nets in the fourth and finished with 33 points.
With the Cavalierss up 100-99, James began his one-man show with a pair of free throws. He dropped in a couple left-handed shots and then made two three-pointers — the last a step-back with 55 seconds left to give Cleveland a 118-107 lead.
James’ solo performance enabled the Cavs to avenge a 112-107 loss in Brooklyn last month.
Kevin Love and Dwyane Wade added 18 points apiece for Cleveland. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 20 points for the Nets.
at Oklahoma City 108, Golden State 91: Russell Westbrook scored a season-high 34 points and contributed 10 rebounds and nine assists as the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since Kevin Durant left after the 2015-16 season.
Golden State won all four meetings last season. The crowd booed Durant nearly every time he touched the ball. He finished with 21 points on 8-for-17 shooting. Stephen Curry scored 24 points for the Warriors.
Westbrook’s new All-Star teammates came through. Carmelo Anthony had 22 points and Paul George 20.
at New Orleans 107, San Antonio 90: Anthony Davis had 29 points and 11 rebounds while Demarcus Cousins finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds for the Pelicans Jrue Holiday scored 13 points and Darius Miller chipped in 13 on four three-pointers in the win.
Pau Gasol had 17 points and LaMarcus Aldridge 16 in a largely frustrating night for San Antonio. The Spurs shot only 39.8% (35 of 88) and went 6 of 24 from three-point range.
Dallas 95, at Memphis 94: Harrison Barnes banked in a 30-footer at the buzzer to deliver the Mavericks the victory. Officials reviewed the play to make sure the shot got off in time. Memphis suffered its sixth straight loss after squandering an 18-point lead in the first half.
Barnes led the Mavericks with 22 points, nine of them coming in the fourth quarter to help Dallas thwart a late Memphis comeback. Dennis Smith Jr. finished with 17 points, and J.J. Barea had 10 points and 11 assists. Tyreke Evans led Memphis with 18 points.
at Minnesota 124, Orlando 118: Jimmy Butler tied a season high with 26 points, Taj Gibson scored a season-high 24 and the Timberwolves ended a two-game slide. Jeff Teague had 22 points and 11 assists, and Andrew Wiggins added 20 points as all five starters scored in double figures to help the Timberwolves end a two-game slide.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 18 points and 13 rebounds for his 14th double-double, which tied DeMarcus Cousins for the league lead. Aaron Gordon had 26 points and nine rebounds for the Magic.
at Houston 125, Denver 95: Trevor Ariza had a season-high 25 points, making seven of 10 shots from three-point range, in the Rockets’ victory Chris Paul had 23 points and 12 assists, and James Harden added 21 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in limited action.
The Rockets have won nine of last 10 games, and beat Denver for the fifth straight time after sweeping the series 4-0 last season. Will Barton led Denver with 20 points.
at New York 108, Toronto 100: Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a career-high 38 points, including 12 during a 28-0 run in the third quarter that sent the Knicks to the victory.
Kristaps Porzingis added 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Knicks, who outscored the Raptors 41-10 in the third. Kyle Lowry scored 25 points and DeMar DeRozan had 18 for the Raptors.
at Philadelphia 101, Portland 81: Joel Embiid had 28 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks and fast-starting 76ers handled the Trail Blazers with ease.
Coming off a 21-point victory over Utah on Monday night, the 76ers scored the game’s first 16 points and held a double-digit lead most of the way. Damian Lillard had 30 points for Portland.
at Charlotte 129, Washington 124: Dwight Howard had 26 points and 13 rebounds, including a key block at the end of regulation and a crucial offensive rebound in overtime, to help the Bobcats win.
Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb each had 24 points for the Hornets, who overcame a nine-point fourth quarter deficit. The Hornets wrapped up a perfect three-game homestand.
John Wall had 31 points and 11 assists, and Bradley Beal added 22 points for the Wizards.