Hassan Whiteside ejected again as Heat fall 100-90 to Celtics

Dwyane Wade's 34 points not enough against Celtics

Earlier in the day, Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade was asked if he felt teammate Hassan Whiteside had learned his lesson about controlling his emotions on the court.

Apparently, Whiteside has yet to check his voice mail because he obviously hasn't gotten the message.

He was ejected in the second half of Monday's 100-90 loss to the Boston Celtics at AmericanAirlines Arena, marking his second early exit in five games. Whiteside, who has already been fined $36,000 this season, will almost certainly have to open up his checkbook again. The act made Wade's game-high 34 points a mere footnote.

"Very (disappointed)," Wade said. "We all are. If you're a Heat fan, you are. In this locker room, you are. Everybody. He's going to have to learn. He's been learning the hard way … Hopefully, he changes his mentality quick."

Whiteside's latest mistake played a role in shifting momentum, leading to another loss that could affect the Heat's playoff chances. They were trailing by six when Whiteside felt he was fouled on a layup attempt.

Instead of getting back on defense, Whiteside complained about the officiating at the other end. The Celtics, with the help of two offensive rebounds, pushed the lead to 66-58 on a dunk by Brandon Bass.

That led to even more frustration for Whiteside, who body-checked Kelly Olynyk to the ground under the baseline on the next possession. After reviewing the play, it was ruled a Flagrant 2 and resulted in Whiteside being ejected with 2 minutes, 45 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

"It definitely hurts because he's one of our main guys," forward Michael Beasley, who played some center in place of Whiteside. "… We need him but at the same time we've got to fight. We've been short a lot this year."

Two free throws by Olynyk gave the Celtics a double-digit lead, forcing the Heat to play catch-up the remainder. For Whiteside, it was another blemish on what has been a breakout season and one of the feel-good stories of the league.

On March 2, he was involved in an on-court altercation with Phoenix Suns center Alex Len. Whiteside was fined $15,000 for trying to tackle Len underneath the basket. The league later ruled Whiteside was acting in retaliation but Whiteside's temper remains an issue.

He already has eight technical fouls, which ranks fifth in the league, despite being signed a month into the season and not becoming a rotation player until January.

"We'll handle it and it will be corrected," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Everybody is responsible to the team and your actions, there's consequences that do affect the team."

Emotions were already running high for the Heat. Before the game, forward Chris Bosh met with the team for first time since he was diagnosed with blood clots on his lung. Bosh, who is out for the season, even sat on the team bench the duration.

"It's great," Spoelstra said. "…Get him back in the building and around the guys. I know it will help the guys but I think it will really help CB as well."

He addressed the crowd before tip-off, thanking the fans for their support and the team revealed he was hopeful to resume basketball activity by September.

The good news continued when forward Luol Deng (thigh) and Whiteside (ankle) were back in uniform after missing Saturday's victory against the Sacramento Kings. Guard Goran Dragic missed a second straight game due to back spasms while Udonis Haslem was held out because of a sore ankle and knee.

The absence of Dragic left the scoring load on Wade, who carried the team through three quarters. It was the second straight game he led the team in scoring since taking a "maintenance" game against the Washington Wizards last Friday.

Despite the Whiteside incident, Wade pulled the Heat to within 81-78 on a 3-pointer with 7:16 remaining. The moment was short-lived. The crowd didn't have time sit back down before Jonas Jerebko scored a 3-point play on a driving layup that started a 7-0 run to put the lead back to double-digits.

srichardson@tribpub.com

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