It only took four tries, but the Miami Heat defeated the Boston Celtics, 100-77, for their first win over them this season. The teams played a close first quarter, 22-21 in favor of Boston, but they were unable to keep up after that point. This game will be noted for a play in which LeBron James chucked the ball at Jermaine O'Neal's back and then a scuffle between Dwyane Wade and Paul Pierce.
The Heat dominated the boards all game, outrebounding the Celtics by 16 rebounds (42-26). Miami picked up 15 offensive rebounds while Boston managed only three. Joel Anthony led the Heat with 10 rebounds off the bench, but four of their five starters were able to grab at least five. LeBron James scored a game-high 27 points on 11-of-19 shooting. He and Wade (14 points) combined to dish the ball out for 15 assists.
Kevin Garnett led the Celtics' offense for most of the game, finishing with 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting. However, Paul Pierce finished with a team-high 24 points, helped by making three three-pointers. Rajon Rondo was absent most of the game, scoring just seven points and distributing the ball for five assists.
With the victory, Miami took control of the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. Both teams have two games left, and will surely be a race to the finish to settle the No. 2 seed in the East.