Heat hold off Celtics to clinch playoff spot
Brian Babineau / National Basketball Association / Getty

Last year's finalists are headed back to the postseason.

The Miami Heat defeated the Boston Celtics 129-121 on Tuesday to ensure their return to the playoffs following last season's run to The Finals.

Miami led by as many as 21 in the fourth quarter despite playing the second half without star Jimmy Butler. The 31-year-old was poked in the eye in the second frame and didn't return to the contest.

After punching their postseason ticket, the Heat celebrated with a couple of jabs involving some notable Boston-area icons.

With their win, the Heat ensured back-to-back playoff trips for the first time since 2013-14 - the final year of the Big 3 era in Miami centered around LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade.

The Celtics' loss also gave the New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks a chance to punch their own postseason tickets if the Knicks beat the Los Angeles Lakers. However, New York ultimately fell short in overtime.

Heat hold off Celtics to clinch playoff spot
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