Maybe it really is about the entertainment.
The Celtics lost their 16th straight game Wednesday night but 17,088 Celtics fans didn’t seem to care. They got to see Shaq. They got to see Dwayne Wade. Many stayed until the bitter end.
Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck said before the game that 80 percent of Celtics fans surveyed after games this season reported having a better entertainment experience than last year. After Boston’s five-game winning streak (yes, that did happen this season), the Celtics sold out a month’s worth of games. The team’s bottom line seems to be doing just fine.
But the bottom line on the court is not nearly as rosy. After building a 10-point lead at the end of the first quarter, the Celtics scored just 13 points in the second quarter and 18 points in the third quarter to fall behind Miami by double figures.
The rest was, well, entertainment. Dwayne Wade wowed the crowd with an array of dunks and layups on his way to 30 points, six rebounds, and nine assists. He even blocked a couple of Celtic fast-break attempts.
But the play on the other end was anything but pretty. The Celtics shot 32 percent in the game, with Delonte West (4-17), Ryan Gomes (9-19), and Al Jefferson (6-17) the biggest culprits.
Jefferson (13 points, 16 rebounds) had yet another double-double for the Celtics but did not seem dominant in any part of the game.
Shaquille O’Neal had nine points and four blocks for the Heat in 24 minutes. Miami didn’t need the Diesel to do much more.
The Celtics now sit eight losses shy from the NBA record of 24-straight, set by Cleveland in 1981-82.
We’ll be back with shortly with postgame reaction from the locker rooms.