Celtics build huge early lead and hold off Heat after Isaiah Thomas sending off
Boston guard Isaiah Thomas comes up with a team-high 23 points. AP

THE Boston Celtics built a huge lead early, enough to overcome the ejection of Isaiah Thomas and beat the Heat, 105-95, on Sunday in Miami (Monday, Manila time).

The Celtics led 22 early, was up 17 at the half and still ahead by 12 when Thomas was sent off for a flagrant 2 foul for an elbow to Justise Winslow’s face with three minutes to play.

Thomas still wound up with a team-high 23 points as the Celtics scored their second straight win after downing the Charlotte Hornets.

Avery Bradley had 20 points on 9 of 17 shooting, while Al Horford scored 17 for Boston, which notched its 15th win in 27 games.

The Heat absorbed their second straight loss and 19th in 28 outings.

Goran Dragic scored 31 and Hassan Whiteside had 23 points and 17 rebounds for Miami.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph