It's a safe bet that LeBron James and the Miami Heat would like a do over after what transpired at TD Garden on the first day of April. Need a refresher? Well, it involved Paul Pierce scoring 23 points and Rajon Rondo recording a triple-double en route to a shocking 91-72 blowout victory for Boston. Of course, this didn't exactly sit well in Heat-ville.
"It's not about what we say right now. It's not about any kind of meeting, any kind of talk. It's not about a response to the media. This game was unacceptable," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We will fix it together, collectively. We're not happy about it, we have not been able to come up with an answer on the road, particularly in the third quarter. We fell prey to that again tonight. We will figure it out, somehow, somehow, this group together ... we will figure it out."
A quick start from Boston was a driving force in the game, as the Celtics led 29-19 through one quarter. However, the definitive quarter was the third, in which the Celtics dominated the Heat, outscoring them 31-12.
"Well they got everything that they want and they gave us nothing," said James, who also scored 23. "We came out to start the 3rd quarter made some shots, but we also started the 3rd quarter with a turnover. We were down 5 and we had a turnover to get a layup. Ya know anytime a teammates run we give up careless turnovers and we can't do that."
Boston will try to pull off a similar upset on Tuesday night when the two teams meet at 7 p.m. EST at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida (TV/Radio: ESPN, CSNNE/WEEI).
Since their last meeting, the Heat have been nearly perfect. Miami has won three of its last four, with the only loss coming against a stingy Memphis Grizzlies squad. One of those wins came against the powerhouse Oklahoma City Thunder, with James scoring 34 points while dishing out 10 assists in a strong 98-93 win last Wednesday.
Boston, meanwhile, has gone 2-2 since it beat down the Heat, winning its last two games against the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers after losing to the San Antonio Spurs and the Chicago Bulls in the span of two days. The Celtics' latest win came against Philly on Easter Sunday, with Kevin Garnett scoring 20 and Rondo totaling a game-high 15 assists.
No doubt, Miami has the memories of its embarrassing loss on the mind entering Tuesday night's game. Revenge will be the top goal for LeBron and company, but the Celtics are still trying to prove their legitimacy. Another win against Miami would ensure a season-series split against one of the NBA's truly elite teams.