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Eddie House: Celtics defense ‘a count late' in Game 2 loss to Heat

Eddie House: Celtics defense ‘a count late' in Game 2 loss to Heat originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics suffered a rough 111-101 loss at the hands of the Miami Heat on Wednesday, evening the series at 1-1 in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Still without Jimmy Butler, the Heat knocked down a franchise playoff record 23 3-pointers, just two away from tying the NBA record.

NBC Sports Boston's Eddie House discussed the Celtics' defensive struggles following Wednesday night's loss.

"I feel like they were just a count late on everything they were doing," House said, pointing out late shot contests on Miami's 3's as he watched game highlights. "They got a lot of open shots, a lot of uncontested shots -- I just feel defensively, we weren't engaged."

Miami converted on 23 of their 43 attempts from deep, with Tyler Herro (6-11 from 3) and Caleb Martin (5-6) leading the charge. Prior to Wednesday night, the Heat scored a season-high 21 3-pointers in a regular season matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers.

"When you have an opportunity to get a stranglehold on this series to go up 2-0, then all you have to do is split on the road -- you're up 3-1 after that -- and you take care of business," House added of how the series should have gone if Boston was able to secure the win at home on Wednesday. "Now, you have to come back home...you're just extending the series when I don't feel like you needed to. They were a half count late on everything."

Check out House's full comments in the video below:

Along with the poor defense, House also displayed his disappointment with Boston's supporting cast. While Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 61 points, Kristaps Porzingis, Jrue Holiday, and the four other C's players who logged minutes struggled.

Porzingis arguably had his worst performance as a Celtic, logging just six points on 1-9 from the field -- tied for a season-low when playing a full game. On a positive note, the big man secured eight boards, four assists, three steals, and two blocks.

Holiday converted on just 4 of 12 shot attempts for nine points, additionally logging just three boards, two assists, two steals, and a block.

Payton Pritchard, who had really seemed to come into his own towards the end of the regular season, failed to attempt a shot in his 20 minutes on the floor, logging just three assists and a rebound. Sam Hauser and Al Horford combined for 12 points, with no other bench players hitting the court.

"For the most part, the guys just didn't have any rhythm," House added of Boston's offense. "Besides that Sam Hauser 3 that he hit early in the first half in the corner, I don't think that I saw the guys get any good looks...Our defense made our offense suffer -- we just weren't that good defensively."

The Celtics will look to bounce back in Game 3 to take a 2-1 series lead as they hit the road to play the Heat in Miami on Saturday night. NBC Sports Boston's Mike Gorman and Brian Scalabrine will be on the call for the 6 p.m. ET game, with Celtics Pregame Live beginning at 5 p.m. ET.