Celtics 115, Heat 107: Boston Outlasts Miami In Thrilling Shootout

Paul Pierce scored 27, Kevin Garnett had 24 points and nine rebounds and Rajon Rondo totaled 18 points and 15 assists as the Boston Celtics outlasted the Miami Heat, 115-107, in a thrilling shootout on Tuesday evening in Miami, Florida.

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2012 NBA Standings, Eastern Conference: Boston Celtics Still Lead Philadelphia 76ers By Three Games

With their 115-107 victory against the Miami Heat on Tuesday night, the Boston Celtics remain three games ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers in the Atlantic Division.

It's still possible for the Celtics to catch the Indiana Pacers for the Eastern Conference's third seed, but for now they rest in the fourth slot due to their hold on the division. The Celtics are actually one game behind the current No. 5 seed Atlanta Hawks and one-half game behind the No. 6 Orlando Magic.

With nine games remaining, the Celtics would need a Boston Red Sox-worthy collapse to fall out of the playoffs. They lead the No. seed Milwaukee Bucks by five games.

The full 2012 Eastern Conference NBA standings follow:


Eastern Standings

GP W-L PCT
Chicago Bulls 58 44-14 .759
Miami Heat 56 40-16 .714
Indiana Pacers 57 35-22 .614
Boston Celtics 57 33-24 .579
Atlanta Hawks 57 34-23 .596
Orlando Magic 58 34-24 .586
Philadelphia 76ers 57 30-27 .526
New York Knicks 57 29-28 .509
Milwaukee Bucks 57 28-29 .491
Detroit Pistons 57 21-36 .368
New Jersey Nets 59 21-38 .356
Cleveland Cavaliers 55 19-36 .345
Toronto Raptors 58 20-38 .345
Washington Wizards 58 14-44 .241
Charlotte Bobcats 56 7-49 .125

For more Celtics coverage, visit CelticsBlog.

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Rajon Rondo Never Wants To Play For Team USA In The Olympics

Rajon Rondo was not chosen as one of the 20 finalists for the Team USA which will compete in the 2012 London Olympics, so this year's Olympics was never an option.

But even if playing in the Olympics does become an option for Rondo in the future, he doesn't want to wear the red, white and blue.

Ever.

"No, I don't," he told Fox Sports Florida regarding the situation. "I just don't... Wondering why? I love my summers. I'll leave it at that."

Rondo left the 2010 FIBA championships amid curious circumstances -- the team said he withdrew for personal reasons, but his departure came after he received a DNP-CD during an exhibition game against Spain. Rondo told Fox Sports Florida he left of his own accord because he was "homesick."

The point guard currently leads the NBA in assists with 11.3 per game and has registered at least 10 assists in every game since March 11.

For more Celtics coverage, visit CelticsBlog.

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Celtics Vs. Heat Final Score: Boston Tops Miami In Shootout, 115-107

Two of the league's top defensive squads clashed on Tuesday night in South Beach, and they did exactly what you might expect. Or not.

Paul Pierce scored 27, Kevin Garnett had 24 points and nine rebounds and Rajon Rondo totaled 18 points and 15 assists as the Boston Celtics beat the Miami Heat for the second time this month, capturing a 115-107 win at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Much like their 91-72 win over the Heat on April 1 at TD Garden, the Celtics started strong and led by 11 points (33-22) through one quarter. After going up by as many as 18 in the second quarter, Boston's lead diminished to eight points by halftime, 65-57.

Miami didn't make up any ground in the third quarter, with each team scoring 24, but a furious push by the Heat in the fourth made it a one-point game, 89-88, with 10 minutes to play. Instead of folding like players of their age are inclined to do, the Big Three-led C's rebuilt the lead to ten points, 104-94, and fended off one final push from Miami.

Boston had all five of its starters score in double digits. In addition to Pierce, Garnett and Rondo, Brandon Bass scored 12 and grabbed 10 boards and Avery Bradley added 11 points. Ray Allen scored nine off the bench and Boston shot a season-high 60.6 percent.

LeBron James scored 36 and had seven rebounds and seven assists while Dwyane Wade scored 20 and Mario Chalmers added 18 points and three steals. Miami shot 44.8 percent from the field and was out-rebounded 40-34.

Boston has a quick turnaround, as it hosts the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.


Final - 4.10.2012 1 2 3 4 Total
Boston Celtics 33 32 24 26 115
Miami Heat 22 35 24 26 107

Complete Coverage >


For more Celtics and Heat coverage, visit CelticsBlog and Peninsula Is Mightier.

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Celtics Vs. Heat Live Blog: Boston Hangs On For Win In South Beach

LeBron James and the Miami Heat host LeBron James and the Boston Celtics in their third meeting of the season at AmericanAirlines Arena. Refresh during the game for updates.

Below is a live blog with score updates and analysis from Tuesday night's game.

FINAL: CELTICS 115, HEAT 107: Check out our game story for the complete recap.

FOURTH QUARTER: CELTICS 108, HEAT 101 (2:34): Who wants it more? Kevin Garnett led Boston on a great run to regain a double-digit lead, but this is still a very close game with plenty of time left. So ... who wants it more?

FOURTH QUARTER: CELTICS 104, HEAT 94 (5:18): Remember Kevin Garnett? The Big Ticket scored eight straight for Boston and Paul Pierce had a couple jumpers of his own, and Boston stretched its one-point lead to ten with just over five minutes left. Don't ever count this team out. Definitely a good run, but there's still time. Need to keep up the pace.

FOURTH QUARTER: CELTICS 94, HEAT 89 (9:15): It's Rayning threes. A big bucket by Brandon Bass and an even bigger three by the three-point king, Ray Allen, gave the Celtics a little breathing room as we go down the stretch.

FOURTH QUARTER: CELTICS 89, HEAT 88 (10:08): The warning light has come on for the Celtics' gas tank. Actually, that may be an understatement, because the wheels are starting to fall off. Miami is on a 7-0 run to start the third. Can the C's hang on?

END OF THIRD QUARTER: CELTICS 89, HEAT 81: Boston has successfully maintained its halftime advantage in the third quarter, with both teams scoring 24 in the third as we head to the final quarter in South Beach. Paul Pierce is stepping up his game to nobody's surprise, and he has 21 points to lead Boston, which is still shooting way over 50 percent (58.9). Rajon Rondo likely won't get his national television triple-double, but he has still been good, totaling 16 points and 12 assists. LeBron James is doing his thing, too, scoring 29 points through three quarters and is approaching a triple-double with seven assists and six rebounds. Miami has dipped under 50 percent shooting, now standing at 46.2 percent.

THIRD QUARTER: CELTICS 76, HEAT 66 (7:05): Not much progress for Miami since our last update, and Boston is doing a good job of at least keeping its lead steady. Critical stretch in these last seven minutes, though, as even a 10-point lead may not hold in the fourth quarter for an older team.

THIRD QUARTER: CELTICS 69, HEAT 61 (9:22): Boston opened the quarter on a 4-0 run, but Miami continues to creep back into the game, again trailing by eight. After two baskets from Avery Bradley and Kevin Garnett, Mario Chalmers scored five straight points for Miami -- two free throws and a three at 9:47. Plenty of time left for both sides.

HALFTIME: CELTICS 65, HEAT 57: Fool the Heat once, shame on you. Fool them twice, shame on ... them? After going up 9-3 in the early minutes, Boston used a 10-0 run and had another double-digit run (11-0) later in the first quarter to take an 11-point lead through one quarter. The Celtics went up by 18 points during the second quarter, but the Heat closed out the half strong, and a big shot from LeBron James (18 points) brought the Heat within eight at the break. Paul Pierce scored 16 in the opening half to lead Boston, which shot 61.5 percent in the period. Miami shot 51.2 percent in the half. All in all, a solid half.

SECOND QUARTER: CELTICS 61, HEAT 46 (2:10): Another quick turnaround (it's a game of runs, remember?), as the Celtics are on a 7-0 run that has the lead back up to 15 points. Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley both had jumpers, and Paul Pierce hit a big three to make this a 15-point game. Boston has responded well to adversity in this game.

SECOND QUARTER: CELTICS 54, HEAT 44 (4:12): Well that was pretty quick. Boston will need to be careful in the final four minutes, or it might squander away it's lead (once as big as 18) before halftime. It has been the LeBron and Wade show so far, with James scoring four and Wade adding four since the last timeout to help lead the Miami surge. The Heat are currently on a 13-5 run.

SECOND QUARTER: CELTICS 49, HEAT 31 (7:30): It's an 18-point lead. Heat are shooting 44.4 percent, Celtics shooting 66.7 percent. Need I say any more?

SECOND QUARTER: CELTICS 42, HEAT 27 (9:51): Coach Spo can't be happy about this. Boston has outscored Miami 9-5 in the first few minutes of the second quarter. The Celtics, who shot over 60 percent in the first, didn't let up on the offensive end, and Kevin Garnett has a couple of baskets for four points in the quarter. Miami has a Chris Bosh jumper and a 23-foot three from James Jones in the quarter.

END OF FIRST QUARTER: CELTICS 33, HEAT 22: Brushing aside a slow start, the Celtics jumped ahead by 11 points at the end of the first quarter. A late quarter surge saw the Celtics use an 11-0 run -- their second double-digit run of the game (they had a 10-0 run midway through the quarter to go up 13-9) -- to make it a 33-22 game through twelve minutes. Brandon Bass scored four in the run on four free throws, Paul Pierce hit two from the charity stripe and Rajon Rondo buried a 24-footer with 27 ticks left. Maybe that Celtics blowout on April 1 wasn't a fluke?

FIRST QUARTER: CELTICS 22, HEAT 22 (3:06): A streaky start for both teams, as Miami jumped ahead 9-3 in the early going, but a 10-0 run put Boston up by four points with 7:05 to go in the opening period. Led by four points from LeBron James and a 25-foot three pointer from James Jones, the Heat retook the lead, 20-17, at the 4:28 mark. Ray Allen scored five straight and Dwyane Wade made a layup to tie the game at 22.


Final - 4.10.2012 1 2 3 4 Total
Boston Celtics 33 32 24 26 115
Miami Heat 22 35 24 26 107

Complete Coverage >


For more Celtics and Heat coverage, visit CelticsBlog and Peninsula Is Mightier.

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Celtics Vs. Heat: Paul Pierce Knows What's At Stake For Rest Of Season

The Boston Celtics have strung together wins in seven of their past nine games and enter the season's final stretch in a position that isn't exactly familiar, thriving toward the finish line.

Before meeting the Miami Heat on Tuesday night, Paul Pierce discussed the Celtics' mindset this season and how their second-half surge this year is different than the past couple years.

"We have a sense of urgency right now," Pierce said. "We understand what's at stake. The fourth seed, possibly the third seed, a division title, playing well going into the playoffs -- there are a number of factors when you come to this point of the year and you have 10, 11 games left."

"We've usually been consistent in the first [half of the season], then in the second half we've been inconsistent. So we've kind of reversed that role, I guess, this season," he added. "What better time than this time of the year, when everybody's getting confidence? We're beating some good teams, so we know we can play with anybody in the Eastern Conference."

Click here for more from Pierce, or watch the video below:

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Celtics Vs. Heat: Boston Looks For Repeat Performance In Miami

LeBron James and the Miami Heat were blown out by the Boston Celtics in their last meeting on April 1 at TD Garden. Boston will be looking for a repeat performance when it faces Miami at 7 p.m. EST on Tuesday night in South Beach.

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