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Celtics vs. Heat: Top Spot In The East Up For Grabs Sunday Matinee

No more rest for the weary Celtics Sunday afternoon. Hot on the heels of the Lakers' visit to TD Garden on Thursday night, the wounded C's must regroup for a nationally televised matinee with LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and the surging Miami Heat. Miami has won eight straight and, thanks to the Celts' two-game losing skid, has taken over the top spot in the Eastern Conference at 39-14, a half-game ahead of the Green.

The Celtics rushed out to a 15-point, first-half lead against L.A. Thursday night on the heels of Ray Allen's conquering of Reggie Miller's all-time, three-point shot record. But after the celebration ended, the air came out of the home team and the Lakers took advantage, blowing the doors off the Garden en route to a 92-86 win. The Celts, already undermanned, also played that game with Paul Pierce clearly suffering the effects of the flu. After another practice on Saturday with just 10 available bodies, coach Doc Rivers told ESPN Boston, "Every day is a mystery."

The Heat will be looking to take advantage. Both of their previous games against the Celts so far this season have resulted in defeats, the most recent being a 112-107 loss on Nov. 11. Since their 9-8 start, the Heat are 30-6. A win today combined with at least one more against either Indiana on Tuesday or Toronto on Wednesday would ensure them the East's best record headed into next weekend's all-star break.

The Celtics (38-14) look to bounce back from consecutive losses against the red hot Heat (39-14) today at 1 p.m. EST, on ABC.