Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 1/21

Game 1: Wednesday, January 21st
Game 2: Wednesday, March 11th
Game 3: Wednesday, March 18th
Game 4: Friday, April 10th

Celtics 99

(49-16, 23-10 away)

Heat 107

(35-29, 23-11 home)

    Coverage: SUNHD

    7:30 PM ET, March 11, 2009

    AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL

    1 2 3 4 T
    BOS 32 23 18 2699
    MIA 31 19 32 25107

    Top Performers

    Bos: R. Allen 27 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast

    Mia: D. Wade 32 Pts, 4 Reb, 7 Ast, 4 Stl

    Heat hand injury-riddled Celtics second straight loss

    Associated Press

    MIAMI -- It's that time of year, where little aches and pains are starting to add up for Dwyane Wade. Sore knee, stiff ankle, that sort of thing.

    He tried to say it was a problem Wednesday.

    Wade County, Florida

    The Heat have won five of their last seven, with their only losses coming to Cleveland. During the stretch, Dwyane Wade has thrown himself into the forefront of the NBA MVP conversation.

    Dwyane Wade, Last 7 Games
    Team W-L 5-2
    PPG 38.4
    FG pct 56.9
    APG 10.6
    RPG 6.4
    SPG 3.6

    "I was only able to get 32," Wade said, unable to hold in a laugh -- knowing those 32 points were good enough for the Miami Heat.

    Wade continued his post-All-Star offensive tear, hitting the game-sealing 3-pointer with 34 seconds left, and the Heat held on to beat the injury-depleted Boston Celtics 107-99.

    Boston trailed 91-76 with 9:04 left, cut the deficit to one with a 16-2 run over the next 4:10, but Wade was simply too much in the final minutes. He scored five straight Miami points to slow the Celtics' rally, and the Heat never lost the lead.

    "It's a gutsy win for us," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

    And a costly loss for the defending NBA champions, who fell two games behind Cleveland in the race for the Eastern Conference's best record.

    Fast Facts

    • The Heat have won four of the last five games, and with Wednesday's victory, the Heat now have 20 more wins than last season (35-29).

    • Dwyane Wade scored 32 points, was 13-for-16 from the free-throw line, had seven assists and four steals. Wade has scored 30 points or more in eight of the last 10 games. It was also his third straight game with at least four steals.

    • The Celtics played with eight players as regular contributors. Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Glen Davis, Tony Allen and Brian Scalabrine were all out.

    • The Celtics lost for the first time in seven games against the Heat.

    -- ESPN research

    Ray Allen hit his first six shots and finished with 27 for Boston, but only three of those came after halftime -- as he missed six of his final seven shots. Leon Powe had 23 points and 13 rebounds for the Celtics, who got 16 points from Paul Pierce.

    "When you get down that far and you are fighting back, it's tough to win games, especially on the road," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said.

    Boston led 55-50 at the half, then got outscored 32-18 in the third quarter.

    "There is no excuse," Pierce said. "We had our opportunities. We had the lead at halftime and had a bad quarter in the third quarter. We dug ourselves a hole. We have to understand that we're a defensive team first and that's how we win games."

    Jamario Moon scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds for Miami, which stayed 1 1/2 games behind Atlanta for fourth place in the Eastern Conference. Jermaine O'Neal scored 12 for the Heat.

    The Celtics were without five injured players, including Kevin Garnett (who missed his ninth game with a sprained right knee) and point guard Rajon Rondo (sprained right ankle).

    They could have used a little help.

    "Boston's still one of the one or two top teams in the East," Heat guard Mario Chalmers said. "Any time you get a win over a team like that, whether they've got all their big weapons or not, you take the win."

    Kendrick Perkins had 13 and Eddie House scored 12 for Boston. Stephon Marbury was 0-for-6 in 23 minutes, not scoring a single point. Udonis Haslem finished with 10 points for Miami, as did Chalmers and Daequan Cook.

    The Heat (35-29) tied a season best by moving six games over .500, and beat Boston for the first time in seven meetings.

    Until the final minutes, and by his own standards lately, Wade was having a relatively tame night.

    In his first 11 games since the All-Star break, the NBA's leading scorer was averaging 36.5 points and 10.8 assists, including the 48-point outburst against Chicago on Monday night -- a game where he hit a running 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Heat a victory.

    Wade broke his own franchise record by reaching double digits in scoring for the 79th straight game, and tied another team mark with his 20th straight game scoring at least 20 points.

    And in the end, he pulled off more theatrics in this one, including swishing the 3-pointer over Allen's outstretched arm for the game-clincher.

    "We have to protect home court," Wade said, "by any means necessary."

    Miami scored the first 11 points of the third quarter. Moon scored the final five points of that quick spurt, first with a 3-pointer and then an alley-oop slam off a high-arcing pass from Wade.

    The lead changed hands five times in the third quarter, before Miami used a 16-4 run to get some separation. Cook hit a pair of 3-pointers a minute apart for an 82-71 lead, and the Heat settled for a nine-point cushion going into the fourth.

    Game notes

    Including Wade, five of the six all-time leading Miami scorers -- Alonzo Mourning, Glen Rice, Tim Hardaway and Eddie Jones -- were in the arena. ... Several NFL players were in the stands, including Edgerrin James, Channing Crowder and Jeremy Shockey. ... Celtics forward Mikki Moore pulled off something not seen often: He committed four fouls in the first quarter, and didn't even start the game. Moore needed only 7 1/2 minutes for the contact spree.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 99 107
    FGM-FGA 33-73 (.452) 40-80 (.500)
    3PM-3PA 8-16 (.500) 9-20 (.450)
    FTM-FTA 25-33 (.758) 18-22 (.818)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-41 11-38
    Assists 15 21
    Turnovers 17 13
    Steals 7 9
    Blocks 4 7
    Fast Break Points 7 14
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (0/0) 24 (2/1)
    Largest Lead 7 15

    Top Performers

    Ray Allen Allen
    Points: 27
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Dwyane Wade Wade
    Points: 32
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 0