MIAMI (AP) — Bam Adebayo isn’t going to hear his name when the NBA announces the All-Star Game starters Thursday night. He knows that.
But All-Star reserves are picked by coaches. Their ballots for the Feb. 19 game in Salt Lake City are due early next week.
And Adebayo made his case for their votes on Tuesday night. He scored 30 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, and put Miami ahead for good on a jumper with 20.4 seconds left — carrying the Heat to a 98-95 victory over the Boston Celtics.
“They booted us in the Eastern Conference finals last year,” said Adebayo, who is averaging 21.6 points and 10.2 rebounds so far this season. “I feel like a lot of guys still carry that.”
Miami used a 15-0 run in the fourth to erase a 10-point deficit and held Boston to 13 points in the final quarter — matching the fewest points by the Celtics in any period this season.
Adebayo had nine points and eight rebounds in that fourth quarter.
“It’s not really my nature to go out and campaign,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I just think he’s an All-Star and he showed it tonight. It’s a big win. It was on TV. I hope people notice.”
The Celtics had been 26-3 when leading at halftime and 30-3 when leading after three quarters. They led 58-50 at the half, 82-75 going into the fourth and pushed that margin out to 87-77 early in the final quarter.
“It was just two good teams out there playing,” Celtics interim coach Joe Mazzulla said. “They made a few more plays at the end than we did.”
Jayson Tatum finished with 31 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists for the Celtics. Derrick White scored 23 points, and Robert Williams III had 11.
Miami’s Tyler Herro stole a cross-court pass thrown by Tatum with just over a second remaining, denying Boston a chance to tie or take the lead. Haywood Highsmith’s free throw with 0.6 seconds left put Miami up by three.
Boston called time, and Payton Pritchard’s straightaway 30-footer fell short as time expired.
Pritchard played 42 minutes because the Celtics were short-handed. Boston was without three would-be starters in Jaylen Brown (right adductor), Al Horford (lower back stiffness) and Marcus Smart (right ankle) — as well as Malcolm Brogdon, out for personal reasons.
Miami played without Jimmy Butler, who sat out with lower back tightness.
Boston led 87-77 when Williams got an alley-oop dunk with 8:47 left. The Heat scored the next 15 points while the Celtics missed 10 consecutive shots — but Tatum’s three-point…