April 24, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (left) and forward LeBron James (right) pump their fists after a basket while sitting on the bench during the second quarter against the Boston Celtics at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE
No LeBron or Bosh or Wade or Garnett or Allen or Rondo or Stiemsma or Pietrus.
I'll be honest: I didn't pay very close attention to this game. I didn't change the channel or look away for too long, but there was a low-speed car chase going on in Los Angeles and they live-streamed it over the Internet and it was just way more interesting. There's a chance that LeBron James was watching it, too. And Dwyane Wade. And Chris Bosh. And Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen and Mickael Pietrus and Greg Stiemsma. None of those men played in Tuesday night's game between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics, and odds are they didn't feel like watching it, either. With all those folks missing, a ragtag bunch of youngsters and journeymen took the floor and put on a pretty meager show for regretful spectators and a confused national TV audience. In the end, Sasha Pavlovic's fourth-quarter explosion (yes) lifted Boston to a 78-66 victory.
Some highlights? Well, uh, the starting center battle was Dexter Pittman versus Ryan Hollins. That was fun. Paul Pierce played for the Celtics for some reason, but spun for just 18 minutes when he and Doc Rivers realized he had absolutely no business playing in this game. The Celtics went scoreless for the first five minutes and change of the game and scored just 10 points in the first period, but stayed pretty close because the Heat committed ELEVEN turnovers in that quarter alone. Miami didn't crack 17 points in any quarter, notching a season-low of 66 overall.
Boston played from behind for most of the night, but pulled ahead with a 14-4 run to end the third quarter. In the fourth, Pavlovic's 12 points made the difference, and also made him one of only four game participants to crack double-digits in points. This was not unlike Boston's regular season-ending game against the Knicks last year, when Pavlovic dropped 19 points to beat the Knicks in a meaningless game, then contributed absolutely nothing in the playoffs. Good for Sasha, though!
What else. Uh ... JaJuan Johnson blocked a Juwan Howard jumper at one point. That was fun. Because of their first names, you see. There wasn't much else. Oh, and the guy in the two truck being chased by the cops in L.A. eventually just pulled over and surrendered, so even that wasn't too exciting.
Believe it or not, this hideous affair actually had an impact on the playoff outlook. Boston's win means that it still has a shot at holding home court advantage in its first-round series against the Hawks. Atlanta won on Tuesday as well and sits in the fifth seed, with the edge in the race for home court advantage. Boston can still claim the advantage in the season's final two days.
For all of Tuesday's NBA box scores, check out SI.com's NBA scoreboard.