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Heat no match for Celtics in season-worst 143-110 loss as skid reaches five

MIAMI — This is why you don’t lose to the Toronto Raptors, Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic and injury-decimated Memphis Grizzlies.

Because eventually winter will be coming, with the Miami Heat hit with the cold reality of the East-dominating Boston Celtics on Thursday night at Kaseya Center.

Against a rival as loaded as it has been in years, the Heat fell 143-110 as their losing streak reached five, the team’s longest skid in three years.

While the offense came around after two weeks of slumber, the defense seemingly never stood a chance against an opponent bolstered by the offseason additions of Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday.

The Heat were as good as they have been for weeks on offense.

And it wasn’t nearly good enough, adding up only to the Heat’s most-lopsided loss of the season.

“It was a humbling night, that’s for sure,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “They put us in our place tonight.”

The Heat got 19 points apiece from Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo and 17 from Jimmy Butler, with Tuesday trade addition Terry Rozier closing with seven on 3-of-10 shooting.

The problem was the Celtics got 26 from Jayson Tatum, 19 from Porzingis, who left after spraining his left ankle in the third period, and 18 from Jaylen Brown.

Boston also got 17 points from Jrue Holiday and 15 from Derrick White, a depth of talent the Heat could not match.

“We definitely can be better,” Herro said.

It was the most points ever by the Celtics against the Heat and their largest-ever win against the Heat in the 36 years the teams have been playing.

So now the losing streak goes in tow to New York for another nationally televised game, a Saturday matinee at Madison Square Garden.

“We’ve got to win sooner or later, right?” Butler said. “We’ve got to start doing things better on both sides of the ball.”

Five Degrees of Heat from Thursday night’s game:

1. Game flow: The Celtics led 42-29 at the end of the first quarter, 77-64 at halftime and 113-90 after three periods.

The ignominy reached a point where Luke Kornet scored the Celtics’ final eight points of the third quarter.

The Celtics stood at .656 from the field and 16 of 31 on 3-pointers through three periods.

They then pushed their lead into the 30s in the fourth, closing .637 from the field, 22 of 40 on 3-pointers.

“We’ve just got to be better in so many aspects of the game,” Butler said. “It was just all bad.”

2. Rozier starts: After a trial run off the bench in his Heat debut in Wednesday night’s loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, Rozier’s second action with the Heat came as a starter Thursday.

That had the Heat opening with their 25th starting lineup, one that for the second consecutive game included Haywood Highsmith at power forward. The other starters were Adebayo, Butler and Herro.

Highsmith’s opening stint was brief, after he was called for two fouls in the first 2:23.

Josh Richardson had started on Wednesday in the slot claimed Thursday by Rozier, who shot 3 of 10 Thursday night.

In another roster adjustment, Thomas Bryant played as backup center for the second consecutive night, after Kevin Love left Wednesday night’s game with a stomach illness and remained away Thursday.

Of Rozier’s second Heat game, Spoelstra said, “He brings us a burst of speed, the quickness. He was much more assertive tonight.”

3. Silver lining: If nothing else, at least the Heat showed that the offense still was capable of triple figures.

Thursday’s output came after scoring 99, 104, 96, 97, 108, 87 and 96 in their previous seven games.

Herro, Adebayo and Butler all were efficient with the offense, Adebayo at 8 of 14, Herro 7 of 14 and Butler 7 of 11.

“I thought getting to our actions with better spacing was improved,” Spoelstra said.

The problem this time was the lack of support, including Caleb Martin struggling to a 2-of-12 finish.

“We really have to be desperate at this point,” Adebayo said.

4. New view: Porzingis proved to be a game changer in the rivalry, with 14 points in the first quarter on 5 of 7 shooting, including 2 of 3 on 3-pointers, the Heat lacking the size to compete in the paint or in the perimeter.

During that opening period, Porzingis recorded his 3,000th career field goal.

Porzingis was up to 17 points at the intermission.

Porzingis in the first half made as many shots as Adebayo attempted, with Porzingis 6 of 9 from the field over the opening two periods, Adebayo 4 of 6.

Porzingis’ night then ended when he took a misstep on Adebayo and retreated to the locker room in the third period.

“That’s the standard now,” Spoelstra said of the new-look Celtics. “We understand what that is.

“We have some work to do, and that’s what we’ll do.”

5. Waiting game: As expected no Heat players were voted All-Star starters, with results of the combined balloting of fans, media and players announced just prior to Thursday’s opening tip.

Butler finished sixth in the voting for the three starting Eastern Conference frontcourt berths, fourth in the fan vote and eighth in both the media and player balloting.

Adebayo finished seventh in the East frontcourt voting, fourth in the media vote, fifth in the player vote and eighth in the fan vote.

Herro finished 11th in the voting for the two East backcourt spots, seventh in the media vote, 16th in the player vote and 11th in the fan vote.

Coaches now will vote for the seven reserves from each conference with those selections to be announced this coming Thursday.

Adebayo would appear to be the Heat’s most likely All-Star candidate, based on coaches’ appreciation of his defense.

The All-Star Game is February 18 in Indianapolis.

Heat wing Jaime Jaquez Jr. is expected to be selected for the Feb. 16 Rising Stars game on All-Star Weekend and then compete in the dunk contest on All-Star Saturday.

Jaquez on Thursday missed his sixth consecutive games with a strained left groin.