The Miami Heat may not be in the NBA’s elite just yet.
A major issue for the Heat has been their inability to score on the fast break. They’ve averaged only nine fast-break points per game against top-6 teams, but 15.1 points against all other opponents. They managed only seven against the Celtics on Sunday.
A key and unusual moment in Sunday's loss was LeBron James missing one of two free throws with :12.5 left in the game while the Heat were trailing by two points. Entering Sunday's game, James was 20-for-20 at the free throw line in the fourth quarter, with less than 1:00 left and the score within five points. No other NBA player had a perfect percentage with as many attempts this season. Next on the perfect list is Jason Terry, who is 16-16.
The Heat have now lost 13 of 14 to the Celtics since the start of the 2007-08 season (the first year that the Celtics had Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce). The only team whom they are worse against is the Mavericks (0-8).
The Celtics won despite Pierce going 0-for-10 from the field. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it's the first time the Celtics have won a game in which they had a player go 0-for-10 or worse from the field since Gene Conley (who played in both the NBA and Major League Baseball) went 0-for-10 in a 120-114 win against the Syracuse Nationals on March 4, 1959.
Cavaliers This Season
Following A Home Win
Elsewhere, the Washington Wizards defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers and won their first road game of the season, snapping an 0-25 start on the road. The 25-game road losing streak was the third-longest to start a season in NBA history.
The Cavaliers, who were looking for their first win streak since November, failed to string together consecutive wins. Each of the six times they have won a home game this season, they’ve dropped their next game, and are 2-7 overall following a win this season.
The other big matchup of the day was between the 2008-09 NBA Finals participants. The Orlando Magic snapped the Lakers' four-game win streak and snapped their own eight-game losing streak to teams with records greater than .500. Their last such win came on January 8 at the Mavericks. The Magic were led by Dwight Howard who notched his ninth 30-point, 10-rebound game of the season. Only Blake Griffin (10) has more.