Wade, Heat stay hot with win over Celtics
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Dwyane Wade poured in 24 points, pulled down five rebounds and dished out eight assists to lead Miami to a 103-96 win over Boston at TD Banknorth Garden.
Shaquille O'Neal added 16 points and nine boards for the Heat, who extended their season-long winning streak to eight games. Shandon Anderson chipped in with 15 points off the bench while Antoine Walker had 13 in the win.
Paul Pierce tallied a game-high 38 points and pulled down six rebounds for the Celtics, who lost for the first time in three games. Delonte West recorded 20 points while Wally Szczerbiak donated 12 and pulled down six boards in the loss.
The Heat entered the fourth quarter with a five point advantage and tried to put Boston away by scoring five of the quarter's first seven points.
After Anderson buried two from the line, Miami had its largest lead, 80-70, with 9 1/2 minutes left.
The Celtics answered, however, with a 16-5 spurt over the next four minutes. Ryan Gomes' jumper capped the flurry and gave Boston the lead, 86-85, with 5:37 left on the clock.
The Heat responded 15 seconds later with a Walker trey to take back the advantage, 88-86.
Boston would never find the lead again. Pierce's finger roll made the score 94-93 with 3:01 left but Wade was then fouled on his way to a driving layup. The ensuing free throw gave Miami a 97-93 cushion with just 2:05 remaining.
After Pierce made 1-of-2 from the line, Walker sealed things with a long three. The bucket made it 100-94 with just 55 ticks left.
Boston held a slim 28-26 advantage after the first 12 minutes and managed to keep the same lead entering intermission, 48-46. Pierce paced the Celts with 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting at the half while Wade had 13 for the Heat.
Miami crept into the lead with a solid third quarter. The Heat outscored Boston 27-20 in the frame to take a 73-68 edge into the final frame.
Jason Williams had a game-high nine assists for Miami...Pierce has scored 88 points in his last two games at TD Banknorth Garden...The Heat are 16-14 as the visitor this season and have won three in a row on the road...The Celtics are 16-13 as the host this season.BOS MIA