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There’s no shame in losing, especially after you’ve won 16 straight.
That’s the message the Boston Celtics can take after dropping a 104-98 decision to the host Miami Heat on Wednesday.
And hey, the Celtics almost did it again — overcoming an 18-point deficit to make a game of it at the end. Along with all the winning, their remarkable rallies have been the talk of the early season.
Interestingly, it was Kyrie Irving’s old Cleveland backcourt-mate who sealed it, as Dion Waiters bounced in a 3-pointer to lift the Heat and hand the Celtics their first loss since Oct. 18.
“You can tell they were locked into this game,” Irving told reporters. “They wanted it and proved it.”
Goran Dragic led the Heat (8-9) with 27 points, and Waiters scored 26 and passed for six assists.
Irving paced the Celtics (16-3) with 23 points, but finished an uncharacteristic 0-of-3 on 3-pointers. He made no excuses, refusing to even question Waiters’ fairly lucky bounce at the end.
“What do you want me to say? It was lucky?” Irving asked reporters. “If it hit the top of the backboard on my shot, I’m not calling it lucky. It went in. Ball out. Next possession.”
For the Celtics, it is also now time to focus on trying to put together the next streak.