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Thomas, Celtics elbow their way past Heat

The Heat’s Justise Winslow, with blood on his face, tries to recover after he’s hit by an Isaiah Thomas elbow. Thomas is ejected.

Associated Press

The Heat’s Justise Winslow, with blood on his face, tries to recover after he’s hit by an Isaiah Thomas elbow. Thomas is ejected.

MIAMI — Isaiah Thomas drew blood from Justise Winslow. Other than that, most of the Heat's biggest problems were self-inflicted.

And the Celtics reaped the benefits.

Thomas scored 23 before getting ejected, Avery Bradley added 20 and Boston led by 22 in the first half before hanging on to beat Miami 105-95 Sunday.

"I thought we answered their runs well," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "You knew they were going to come."

Miami had 23 turnovers, leading to 24 Boston points. And the Heat went 6-for-14 from the free-throw line in the fourth, 14-for-25 in the game to solidify its ranking as the NBA's worst free-throw-shooting team this season.

Goran Dragic led all scorers with 31 points for Miami.

The 5-foot-9 Thomas was ejected with 3:02 left for elbowing Winslow in the face, bloodying the 6-foot-7 Heat forward and being assessed a flagrant-2 after a review.

Winslow needed sutures postgame but said he didn't think Thomas had intent. "(Referee) Tony Brothers didn't think it was a flagrant-2, but he has to go with what they say," Thomas said. "I'm happy we won, but I'm disappointed that they kicked me out. There's no reason for that."

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Former Gator Bradley Beal scored 41, Markieff Morris had 12 of his 23 in the fourth quarter and the host Wizards beat the Clippers 117-110. … Rookie Dorian Finney-Smith, undrafted out of Florida, scored a season-high 17 to help the Mavs over the visiting Kings 99-79. … DeMar DeRozan scored 31 to pace the Raptors over the host Magic 109-79. … Joel Embiid scored 17 of his career-high 33 in the third quarter and hit a pair of key free throws with 12.5 seconds left to lead the host 76ers over the Nets 108-107. … LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points and the host Spurs paid tribute to Tim Duncan on his jersey retirement night with a fundamentally strong performance in a 113-100 victory over the Pelicans. San Antonio retired Duncan's jersey after the game.

Thomas, Celtics elbow their way past Heat 12/18/16 [Last modified: Sunday, December 18, 2016 11:07pm]
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