Marcus Smart was in a foul mood Tuesday night.
Jayson Tatum, visibly frustrated with himself at one point in the fourth quarter and mumbled some words to himself, was hit with a technical foul which added to the foul mood that he too was in.
Boston lost 112-106 to the Miami Heat, who were playing without their best player, Jimmy Butler (sore ankle).
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But Boston’s foul mood had more to do with the loss.
The final foul tally was Boston with 26, the Heat with 19.
But there was no question the foul numbers played a pivotal role in Boston’s loss, with Marcus Smart fouling out in the third quarter with Jayson Tatum spending the latter stages of the third and some of the fourth on the Celtics bench with five personal fouls.
Even with core players limited because of foul trouble, the Celtics still managed to stay within striking distance down the stretch. But they could never quite get over the hump, either taking a bad shot, fumbling a defensive rebound away or doing what they seemed to do quite a bit of all game — commit fouls.
Here’s a look at some the standouts – some good, some not so good – from Boston’s loss to the Heat.
Bam Adebayo: The Heat ran a decent amount of offense through Adebayo, whose aggressive play around the rim kept a number of Celtics in foul trouble. He would finish with a double-double of 21 points and 12 rebounds.
Jayson Tatum: Like Marcus Smart, Tatum found himself with a few more fouls than usual. But he still managed to deliver a strong performance in leading Boston with 23 points along with seven rebounds.
Marcus Smart: Rough, rough night for Smart, who had three points while missing all five of his shot attempts from the field.
Semi Ojeleye: He had three points while missing five of his six shot attempts — most of which were wide open shots, the kind of shots that Ojeleye has to become more consistent with making.
Miami Zone Defense
The Celtics struggled most of the game when facing the Miami zone defense, which baited Boston into trying to 3-ball their way towards victory.
Goran Dragic: Miami’s second unit is led by Dragic, who came up with a game-high 20 points (among reserves), which included some big shots down the stretch.
Heat roster: Miami has been among the NBA’s elite three-point shooting teams this season, and Tuesday’s game against Boston was another reminder of this. The Heat knocked down 15 three-pointers.
Forsberg: Charting the Celtics’ playoff course
Foul trouble an issue for Celtics in frustrating loss to Heat originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston