Celtics make statement in Miami, beat Heat, 115-107


Celtics make statement in Miami, beat Heat, 115-107

MIAMI Between the third and fourth quarters of Tuesday's game between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics, a fan donning a Heat jersey banked in a shot at halfcourt which netted him a 2012 Kia Optima.

It was a polaroid moment for sure, because that was the only big shot you saw all night by someone donning the home team's gear.

The Boston Celtics used a blistering string of shots along with big-time contributions from their bench in defeating the Heat 115-107, for the second time in 10 days.

After trailing most of the night, Miami had a chance to tie the game at 89 when Chris Bosh scored while being fouled.

However, he missed the free throw.

Boston scored five of the game's next six points, which included a 3-pointer by Ray Allen to put the Celtics ahead 94-89.

The Celtics soon pushed its lead back to double digits, but the Heat seemingly had one last run in them in as Dwyane Wade's driving lay-up with less than three minutes to play cut Boston's lead down to 108-101 when Doc Rivers called a time-out with 2:34 to play.

Miami continued to chip away, but the Celtics managed to match every Miami spurt with one of their own, with Kevin Garnett (24 points, nine rebounds) and Paul Pierce (27 points) delivering one big shot after another in the game's closing moments.

Down the stretch, Boston once again relied heavily on Rajon Rondo as he continued his mastery of the Heat under the bright lights and intense pressure of a nationally televised game. He finished with 18 points and 15 assists for his 18th double-double this season.

Boston fell behind early, but took control about midway through the first quarter with a 10-0 run. The C's spent most of the first half ahead before taking a 33-22 lead into the second quarter.

Behind a second unit that has more firepower now with the addition of Ray Allen, Boston's backups catapulted the C's to a lead that peaked at 18 points.

As much as the attention on the Celtics bench will surely shift towards Allen, he wasn't the only Celtic reserve causing Miami fits.

Greg Stiemsma played just under 11 minutes in the first half, and tallied four points and six rebounds. Sasha Pavlovic chipped in six points in five minutes. And of course there was Allen scoring five points along with three assists in the first half.

But the Heat, one of the best in the NBA at the America Airlines Arena, were due to make a run at some point.

Gradually the Heat clawed their way back in the game behind the play of Dwyane Wade (16 first-half points) and LeBron James (15 first-half points), whose 3-pointer with no time on the clock cut Boston's lead at the half to 65-57. Wade finished with 20 points while James led all scorers with 36.