Coach Steve Clifford said he was impressed with the way No. 2 overall pick Brandon Miller bounced back after getting in early foul trouble vs. the Hawks.
“He’s not like most guys his age,” Clifford said. “He gets in foul trouble and some guys wouldn’t be able to come back from that. He had a couple calls that didn’t go his way. But then he made some huge plays in the fourth quarter. If you watch him, he has great self-confidence.”
Miller said a step-back 3-pointer to beat the shot clock got him going. He then hit another three to put the Hornets up for good.
“It definitely hasn’t settled in yet,” said Miller, who scored 13 points. “I think tonight it’s probably going to settle in when I go to sleep. I’m definitely going to feel it tomorrow morning.”
Forward Kristaps Porzingis scored 30 in his debut with the Celtics, and he just happened to do it in Madison Square Garden against the Knicks, the team that drafted him back in 2015.
“Honestly, it’s an awesome feeling to come back now being a Celtic and play here,” he said. “Even getting booed and getting all that, it’s still cool, I really like that and enjoyed that. But most importantly we won the game and very excited about what we have ahead of us.”
- Teammate Jayson Tatum indicated he’s pretty delighted about the arrival of Porzingis. “KP is hungry and excited to be here and knows how important he is to this team and what we need him to bring each and every night,” Tatum said.
The Heat were no strangers to close games last season and it seems they may be on their way to the same thing this year. After all, they surrendered a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter to beat the Pistons by a point.
And even that wasn’t decided until Detroit guard Cade Cunningham missed a 30-footer at the buzzer.
“Hopefully, this isn’t the start of another season where we’re going to be playing a clutch game every night,” Heat guard Tyler Herro said. “But it is fun.”
The Pistons missed four shots in the final minute that would’ve given them the lead. So yes, this was a major escape job by Miami.
“A win is a win, as (coach Erik Spoelstra) would tell you, as I would tell you, as anybody in that locker room would tell you,” star forward Jimmy Butler said.