BOSTON The Boston Celtics absolutely crushed the Miami Heat -- and no, this is not an April Fool's Day joke, folks.
That said, it didn't take long for the Celtics to make this into a laugher, dominating the Heat in every way imaginable for a 91-72 win.
Rajon Rondo came up with another strong performance before a nationally televised audience, putting together a strong first half that put him well on his way to a triple-double by halftime. He finished with 16 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds. It was Rondo's 18th career triple-double, 14 of which have come in nationally televised games.
With the win, Boston (30-22) puts just a little more distance between themselves atop the Atlantic Division and the Philadelphia 76ers (29-23) who were idle on Sunday.
The win itself was impressive, especially because it came in such emphatic fashion.
After a relatively close first half, the C's went into full-blown blowout mode with a dominant third quarter that ended with a 29-8 Celtics run which gave them an 80-56 lead going into the fourth.
Boston continued to handle the Heat in the fourth, leaving little doubt who the better team was on this day.
The Boston beat down began with a huge first quarter led by Rondo, who had a hand in just about every basket made by the Celtics as they jumped out to a 29-19 lead after one. Rondo either scored or had an assist in all but one of the C's baskets in the quarter.
However, the Heat made a run. Though they fell behind by as many as 11 points in the second quarter, they reeled off off 10 straight to make it a one-point game.
Dwyane Wade's post game was huge in the comeback, using his size and strength to shoot over Avery Bradley.
But Bradley held his own most of the half, and even got the better of Wade on one occasion as Wade tried to shoot a running one-hander over Bradley who swatted it away.
Unfortunately for Boston, the ball fell into the hands of Shane Battier, who drained the 3-pointer.
Battier and Wade each had 11 points in the first half, which ended with the Celtics leading 49-44 while Paul Pierce 12 first-half points.
LeBron James had 23 points for the Heat, while Wade finished with 15 points. Paul Pierce led five double-digit scorers for the C's, with 23 points.