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Heat season ends with a shorthanded whimper in 118-84 loss in Boston

BOSTON – No, they didn’t have enough.

No, there wasn’t a next man up.

And perhaps most significantly, there was no Playoff Jimmy.

So, in the end, a playoff crash and burn for the Miami Heat, their season coming to an end with Wednesday night’s 118-84 loss to the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.

In retrospect, coming away even with their single win in the best-of-seven opening-round Eastern Conference playoff series probably was a degree of overachievement.

“We’re not going to put this on the fact that we had some injuries,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Let’s not take anything away from Boston. They’ve been the best team in basketball all season long.”

Lacking Jimmy Butler and Terry Rozier for all five games of the series, and then also without rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. for Game 5, the Heat simply did not have nearly enough against the playoff’s top seeds, with the Celtics this time getting 25 points apiece from Jaylen Brown and Derrick White and 16 from Jayson Tatum.

“You could sense they wanted this to end right now, tonight,” Spoelstra said.

While Heat center Bam Adebayo fought the good fight in playing every minute of the first three quarters, with 23 points, a 6-of-19 night from the field Heat guard Tyler Herro failed to provide the needed support system.

A year ago, with Butler at his Playoff Jimmy top of his game, the Heat stole away from a Game 7 at TD Garden with the Eastern Conference championship.

“They probably had something to motivate them against us,” Spoelstra said.

This time, Butler (knee), Rozier (neck) and Jaquez (hip) had only a distant view of Wednesday night’s carnage, remaining back in South Florida, where lockers soon will be cleared at Kaseya Center.

With the Celtics jumping to an 18-point lead at the end of the first period and then pushing the margin to the second, it left the Heat’s “we have enough’ and “next man up” mantras feeling as empty as the night and the series – and even the season.

“This,” forward Kevin Love said, “obviously is super painful.”

Five Degrees of Heat from Wednesday night’s playoff game:

1. Game flow: Fresh off his 38-point performance in Monday night’s Game 4 victory, White scored 15 points in the first nine minutes to fuel Boston to a 41-23 lead going into the second period.

The Celtics then pushed their lead to 30 in the second period before going into halftime up 68-45, at 10 of 21 on 3-pointers at the intermission, compared to the Heat’s 3 of 16.

Boston’s lead then again reached 30 early in the third period, forcing Spoelstra to burn a timeout 2:10 into the quarter.

The Heat went into the fourth quarter down 98-86.

“We learned a lot of lessons,” Adebayo said.

Said forward Nikola Jovic, “It’s something that should motivate us.”

2. Another alteration: With Jaquez, Butler and Rozier out, the Heat opened with their 37th lineup (regular season and postseason combined), this time with Delon Wright receiving his second start of the season and first ever in the playoffs.

The Heat rotation was further muddled when Patty Mills entered first off the bench, after being held out of the first two games of the series.

Duncan Robinson then played as the Heat’s third reserve, as he pushed through an ongoing back issue.

It got more complicated from there, with Highsmith called for three fouls in his first 1:50 and Wright retreating to the locker room in the first quarter for stitches to the inside of his lower lip/chin.

Mills then started the second half in place of Jovic.

“I would say we’ve gained a lot of mental toughness going through ups and downs, learning how to win with 50 different starting lineups,” Adebayo said.

The Celtics also had to adjust, with Al Horford starting at center in place of sidelined Kristpas Porzingis.

3. His part: Adebayo was active and aggressive early, playing all 24 minutes of the first half and attempting 17 shots over the first two periods, his career high for any half, regular season or postgame.

He stood with 21 points at the intermission on 9-of-17 shooting, converting his lone 3-point attempt of that first half.

Adebayo closed the first quarter with 12 points, with none of his teammates scoring more than three in the period.

He finished his night 10 of 26 from the field.

“I had every intention of playing him 48 minutes tonight if the game was within reach,” Spoelstra said.

It was Adebayo’s 60th career game scoring in double digits in the postseason. The only Heat players to do it more in the playoffs are Dwyane Wade (166), LeBron James (85) and Chris Bosh and Butler (each at 61).

4. An off night: Herro missed his first seven shots and stood 3 of 12 from the field, including 1 of 7 on 3-pointers, at halftime.

Included in Herro’s uneven night was a first period technical foul for complaining about a foul call that actually went in the Heat’s favor. He closed 1 of 8 on 3-pointers.

“They definitely got him out of his rhythm,” Adebayo said. “They just took him out of his rhythm.”

The Celtics also continually targeted Herro on the defensive end, particularly Tatum.

“I feel like I’m going to be able to take away a lot from how they guarded me throughout the whole series,” Herro said. “I thought they did a great job, But at the end of the day, it will make me better.”

5. What’s next: The Heat hold the No. 15 pick in the June 26 first round of the NBA draft. Free agency then follows a week later, with Highsmith, Caleb Martin, Josh Richardson, Thomas Bryant and Love among those on the season-ending roster eligible to test the market.

NBA teams are free to make trades once their season comes to a close, as is now the case for the Heat.

“We’ll have plenty of time to go through the autopsy on the regular season,” Spoelstra said, with exit interviews expected later this week. “It was super-competitive in both conferences, and two or three wins could have made monumental differences.”

In the end, while speaking about the series, Highsmith just as easily could have been referencing the season, when he said, “We just couldn’t put it together consistently.”

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