Jefferson leads Celtics past Heat
Miami, FL (Sports Network) – Al Jefferson drained a turnaround hook shot with
0.1 seconds left on the clock as the Boston Celtics escaped with a 91-89
victory over the Miami Heat.
Delonte West’s jumper with 55.2 seconds remaining tied the game at 89-89 and
after Earl Barron’s shot was short at the other end for the Heat, the Celtics
held for the last possession of the game.
Barron came up with a huge block of Gerald Green’s three-point attempt with
2.6 seconds remaining, but the Celtics got Jefferson the ball down low on the
ensuing inbounds pass and his hook shot over Michael Doleac fell to put Boston
Miami’s alley-oop attempt on the last play of the game fell short as Boston
ended a seven-game losing streak.
Jefferson had 20 points and 13 rebounds and West finished with a game-high 28
points for the Celtics, who will wrap up their 2006-07 season on Wednesday
against the Pistons at home.
Jason Williams and Jason Kapono each scored 16 points and Shaquille O’Neal had
14 points and seven rebounds in limited action for the Heat, who sat most of
their regulars in the fourth quarter.
Miami, winners of the Southeast Division, will enter the playoffs as the
fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Heat were dealt a more serious loss in the second quarter when forward
James Posey left the game with a sprained left shoulder and left wrist.
The Heat held a slim 21-18 advantage after the opening 12 minutes and carried
a 43-36 lead into the locker room. Behind 14 points by West, the Celtics
answered in the third quarter. Down 58-49, Boston ripped off an 11-2 spurt to
the tie the game at 60-60 on a pair of Rajon Rondo free throws with just under
two minutes to play. The score was knotted at 65-65 heading into the fourth.
The Celtics then opened the fourth on a 10-2 run to take a 75-67 lead on a
Ryan Gomes’ three. Miami answered back to tie the game at 87-87 on Kapono’s
free throw with just over three minutes to play.
Doleac finished with 10 points while Dwayne Wade scored just eight for
Miami…The Heat finished with a 27-14 home record. They will wrap up their
season at Orlando on Wednesday.