Notebook: Heat 109, Celtics 101



Posted Apr 12, 2013 11:09 PM

Zachary Paul, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Miami Heat supporting cast has received little respect in the past.

Lately, it has proven more than capable of leading the team victory. Even with the return of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the Heat's other players were just as key in a 109-101 victory against the Boston Celtics Friday at AmericanAirlines Arena.

The Heat bench combined for 52 points to help offset a below average game from Wade in his return from injury. Wade was playing for the first time in six games, sitting because of a sore knee. James and Bosh were also back after missing Wednesday's game at Washington.

James led the way with 20 points, nine assists and six rebounds while Bosh finished with 17 points and seven rebounds. Wade scored just 11 points on 4 of 12 shooting in 34 minutes.

The Heat were able to make up for Wade's lack of production with strong performances from Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen off the bench. They combined for 36 points, making 6 of 9 from 3-point range.

The Celtics played without starters Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, who were rested because they end the season with a pair of back-to-backs. Forward Jeff Green led Boston with 25 points and eight rebounds.

QUOTABLE: "It took us a little while to wake up defensively ... You have to give them credit, obviously. They were playing at a different pace in that first quarter. The second quarter, we committed a little bit more. That's ultimately how we want it to look."
-- Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.

THE STAT: The Heat bench outscored the Celtics 52-14.

TURNING POINT: After trailing by 10 in the first quarter, the Heat tied the franchise-record with 41 points in the second. Miami shot 84 percent in the quarter, taking an eight-point lead into the half.

QUOTABLE II: "I thought their substitutes beat our substitutes. I thought that early on we attacked and moved the ball and that is what you have to do against this team. But as they made a run, we stopped attacking."
-- Celtics coach Doc Rivers.

HOT: Lewis showed why he's another reliable option for the Heat. He is just one of the role players taking advantage of the Heat's decision to rest the starters. The highlight came when Lewis completed a four-point play in the fourth quarter. He finished with 19 points on 7 of 11 shooting.

NOT: It was Wade's first time on the court in six games, and it showed. He talked earlier about getting his wind back before the postseason. Expect him to play against Chicago Sunday to help him get back in the flow conditioning-wise.

GOOD MOVE: It was definitely a good decision to play Wade. He could have easily sat the remainder of the regular season but he showed he needs to get back into rhythm after being out of the lineup for so long.

BAD MOVE: The Celtics received a bad break when Green sustained a left elbow injury midway through the fourth quarter. Green was in obvious pain when he left the court. If it is severe, it would almost certainly hurt their chances in the playoffs. They are on pace to face the New York Knicks in the first round.

NOTABLE: The Heat won the season series against the Celtics for the first time since 2005-06, the year of the franchise's first championship ... The Heat improved to 35-4 at home .... Miami is 45-2 when it scores at least 100 points ... Pierce and Garnett are both expected to play Saturday at Orlando.

UP NEXT: For the Heat, Sunday vs. Bulls, Monday @ Cavaliers, Wednesday @ Magic. For the Celtics, Saturday @ Magic, Tuesday vs. Pacers, Wednesday @ Raptors.