Heat vs. Celtics: Heat go for 23 straight against rival Celtics

Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

The Boston Celtics look to foil the Miami Heat's plans of winning 23 games in a row, but may have to do so without Kevin Garnett.

The Miami Heat road show continues Monday night as the they look to extend their winning streak to 23 games against their rival Boston Celtics. The last time the Celtics welcomed the Heat to town was their first game without Rajon Rondo, who found out during the game he had torn his ACL. The Rondo-less Celtics rode a triple-double from Paul Pierce on their way to an overtime victory.

Since then, the Heat have lost once and have won their last 22 games, the latest coming Sunday afternoon against the Toronto Raptors. LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade combined for 64 of the Heat's 108 points. A win against the Celtics would give the Heat the second-longest win streak in NBA history. Interestingly enough, the Celtics ended the Houston Rockets' win streak during the 2007-2008 season at 22 games on March 18, 2008.

Overlooked through much of their current winning streak has been the play of Wade, who is playing his most efficient basketball of his career. Over the last two months, he is averaging 23.6 points per game on 54 percent shooting, while adding close to six assists and six rebounds a game as well.

Celtics down Garnett as well?

While the Heat head in to the game healthy, playing their best ball of the season and pretty much have the East's number one seed wrapped up, the Celtics are still pushing for home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs and could be without their defensive anchor. Kevin Garnett's status remains up in the air after he sat out Saturday night's win against the Charlotte Bobcats with a strained left abductor. Garnett did not practice Sunday or participate in Monday's walkthrough. Head coach Doc Rivers said Garnett's chances of playing are 50-50 at best.

LeBron vs. Paul Pierce

Forget Carmelo Anthony or Kobe Bryant. Pierce has been James' most challenging foil over his career. With Rondo and possibly Garnett out, we can expect a healthy dose of Pierce against the Heat. We can also expect to see lots of Jeff Green guarding James to save Pierce' energy for the offensive end.

Time: 8 p.m. ET

TV: ESPN

Odds: Miami opened up as 5.5 favorites.

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