action:article | category:SPORTS0201 | adString:SPORTS0201 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » Basketball » Celtics/NBA

April 12. 2013 11:46PM

Heat's stars get better of Celtics


Miami's Dwyane Wade, right, exchanges words with Jason Terry of the Celtics during the fourth quarter in Miami on Friday. (David Santiago/El Nuevo Herald/MCT)

MIAMI - The Miami Heat, with its "Big Three" reunited for the first time since March 29, defeated the Boston Celtics 109-101 Friday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Meanwhile, Boston was without its Big Three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo. Boston was led by Jeff Green (25 points and eight rebounds) and Jordan Crawford (20 points).

For the Heat, LeBron James, who had missed four of the past six games due to an injured hamstring, had 20 points, six rebounds and nine assists. Before the game, he was given the trophy for being named Eastern Conference Player of the Month, an award he has won five straight months.

Dwyane Wade, who had missed six straight games due to knee and ankle injuries, had 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Chris Bosh, who had missed three straight games due to a hyper-extended knee and the flu, had 17 points and seven rebounds.

The Heat also got strong performances off the bench from Rashard Lewis (19 points) and Ray Allen (17 points).

But the return of the Heat's stars was the most significant development in a game that otherwise had no meaning for Miami. The Heat have already clinched the top seed for the playoffs and the best record in franchise history.

Miami is 63-16 overall, 35-4 at home and 27-2 since the All-Star break. Its post-All-Star record is the best in NBA history so far, with three games still to be played.

The Celtics, who had their past two seasons ended by the Heat, are 40-39 and in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. As it stands now, the Celtics would open with the New York Knicks in the first round of the playoffs.

Boston has been without point guard Rondo (knee injury) for most of the year, and he won't return until next season. But Pierce and Garnett - both out with ankle injuries - are expected to return in time for the playoffs.

The Heat won the season series against the Celtics, 3-1, this season. It was the first time since 2005-06 that the Heat took a season series from Boston.

On Friday, the Celtics got off to a fast start, leading by as many as 13 points early in the second quarter. But the Heat got 41 points in the second quarter - their highest-scoring period of the season - to take a 58-50 halftime lead.

Also in the second quarter, the Heat broke the franchise record for 3-pointers in a season, breaking the previous mark of 678.

Notes: The Heat rested two of their top forwards - Shane Batter, who has a sore left knee, and Udonis Haslem, who is batting an ankle injury. ... Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra said of Wade's return to the lineup on Friday: "We want him to blow it out and get his wind, (but) he won't get his normal 34 or 36 minutes." ... Celtics coach Doc Rivers on Rondo and whether or not he'll travel with the team while he rehabilitates: "It doesn't matter to me. His job is to get healthy, not to travel with us and fall behind (on his rehab). Rajon is on a tight schedule to get back for next year, and that's where I want his focus." ... Rivers said he doesn't care who the Celtics play in the playoffs. "We don't have home-court advantage, and that is a concern," he said. "And other than Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, we don't have anyone who has been to the playoffs together." ... Spoelstra said he and the Heat scouts liked Celtics guard Avery Bradley when he was in college and getting ready for the NBA Draft. "He showed an ability to go 94 feet and turn the ball repeatedly. He is showing he can do that at the pro level. He was highly talented in the first 17 games of his freshman year (at Texas), and then he got hurt and perspectives changed."


  • Does New Hampshire high school football need a better system for selecting playoff teams?
  • Yes
  • 59%
  • No
  • 41%
  • Total Votes: 607
 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Trial date set for former UNH hockey coach accused of assaulting player

Sudanese runner with NH ties hoping to crowdfund way to 2016 Olympics

Former Wildcat van Riemsdyk undergoes successful surgery

Monadnock Speedway driver captures first Granite State NASCAR title

CASEY DeSMITH

Star goaltender DeSmith no longer on NH roster after assault charge

UNH squad practices without helmets, shoulder pads to reduce risk of head trauma

24 Hours Of LeMons: This Time We Went Fast, Briefly

NHRA president Tom Compton candid on series and its challenges

World's tallest pro basketball player is from Strafford, NH

NH-based hockey helmet maker Bauer to drop concussion protection claims

NH native's statistics help Padres win

UNH receives NFL funding for brain injury research

Olympic skier Krass helps Hanover High clinch soccer championship

'100: Head/Heart/Feet' film follows NH man in grueling world of ultra-running

Athletic director says no one injured in disturbance after Keene High football game

Fishers Cats extend agreement with Toronto Blue Jays through 2018

24 Hours of LeMons New England: The winners!

Kings use emergency-roster exemption before facing Penguins

NH man beat out 75,000 competitors to win $1M in fantasy football contest

Video: Exact moment NH man wins a million dollars on DraftKings

That 70s Line continues to work magic as L.A. Kings win sixth straight

N.H. Motor Speedway to become home of North East Motor Sports Museum

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!