Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics Pick & Prediction JANUARY 25th 2024

The Miami Heat will attempt to end a four-game losing streak when they face the visiting Boston Celtics on Thursday in a matchup between teams that met in last year’s Eastern Conference finals.

Miami took a 105-96 home loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday. It was the Heat’s first game since they traded Kyle Lowry to the Charlotte Hornets for Terry Rozier, who spent his first four NBA seasons with the Celtics.

Rozier shot 3 of 9 off the bench and scored nine points against Memphis.

“We know things are not going to be perfect right away,” Rozier said. “You see the assessment of the team and see how things are going. But I feel like I fit the Heat culture and I’m coming right in to pick things up on the defensive side and let everything else take care of itself. We’re all basketball players, so we’ll figure it out.”

Tyler Herro scored 18 for Miami, which has dropped four straight for the second time this season. Bam Adebayo finished with 15 points, 15 rebounds, six assists and six blocks.

Rozier, 29, averaged 23.2 points and 6.6 assists — both career bests — in 30 games with the Hornets this season.

“(Rozier) has a lot of qualities that we respect and impact winning,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Winning matters to him. He respects our uniform. He really wanted to be here, and not everyone wants to play for us. That matters.”

The Celtics are set to make the final stop on a three-game road trip. Boston opened the trek with a 116-107 victory over the Houston Rockets on Sunday, and then beat the Dallas Mavericks 119-110 on Monday.

“Our guys just bring it every single night,” Boston coach Joe Mazzulla said following the latest victory. “Doesn’t mean we’re always going to win, doesn’t mean you’re going to play perfect, but our guys are always ready to play regardless of the schedule.

“When your best players want to play defense then you have a chance every night. That’s one of the things since I’ve been here with the Celtics I’ve seen it and it’s continued — our best players buy in to defense every single night and it gives us a chance every night.”

Jayson Tatum scored 39 points against the Mavericks, and Jaylen Brown finished with 34. Tatum is Boston’s leading scorer (27.0 points per game) and rebounder (8.4 boards per game). Brown is second on the team in scoring (23.1 ppg).

The Celtics played at Dallas without starting center Kristaps Porzingis (right knee inflammation) and backup forward Oshae Brissett (lower back strain).

“We would love to have everybody every single night, but that’s just not how it’s going to be,” Tatum said. “We have the next-man-up mentality.”

Rookie Jaime Jaquez has missed Miami’s past five games with a groin injury. Jaquez is averaging 14.0 points in 30.2 minutes per game this season.

The Thursday game will be the second meeting between the Celtics and Heat this season. Derrick White made five 3-pointers and scored 28 points when Boston earned a 119-111 home victory over Miami on Oct. 27. White scored 14 points in the fourth quarter as the Celtics outscored the Heat 32-23.

Herro tossed in a team-high 28 points for Miami, which received 27 points and seven rebounds from Adebayo.

The teams will also face each other on Feb. 11 in Miami.

–Field Level Media

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