Big three return to Miami lineup, Heat down Celtics
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were in the lineup together for the first time in two weeks and helped the Miami Heat earn a 109-101 victory over the Boston Celtics at American Airlines Arena.
Miami's star triumvirate has been in and out of the lineup resting nagging injuries down the stretch of the regular season with the Heat having already clinched home-court advantage through the playoffs.
James finished with 20 points, nine assists and six rebounds, Bosh added 17 points and seven boards and Wade netted 11 points as Miami added to the most wins in franchise history with its 63rd of the season.
"It was good to have most of our guys back tonight," Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We have to keep moving forward."
Rashard Lewis chipped in 19 points for the Heat, while Jeff Green and Jordan Crawford totaled 25 and 20 points, respectively, to pace the Celtics.
Green suffered a left elbow injury during the game but said he was fine afterward.
"I had the nerve go numb and it wouldn't come back as fast as I wanted it to," Green said. "I'm fine."
Boston, currently the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference, played without its two leading scorers as Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett sat with lingering ankle issues.
The Celtics held a 30-17 lead after Courtney Lee opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer, but the Heat responded with a 17-4 run to even things and took their first lead on a Norris Cole triple with 4:55 left in the half.
Wade's bucket at the buzzer capped a 41-point quarter and had Miami on top, 58-50, at the intermission.
The hosts never trailed in the second half and took an 87-75 advantage into the fourth quarter thanks to Lewis' 3-pointer in the final minute of the third.
Lewis hit a corner three on the first possession of the fourth while being fouled, and even though he missed the ensuing free throw, the Heat cruised the rest of the way.
James, Wade and Bosh had not played together since March 29 against New Orleans -- two days after the team's 27-game winning streak ended in Chicago ... Miami took three of four in the season series ... Lewis' point total was a season high ... James has recorded 2,000 points in a season for the eighth time in his career ... Ray Allen scored 17 points against his former team ... The Heat held out Udonis Haslem and Shane Battier for precautionary reasons ... Miami made a dozen 3-pointers, while Boston shot 6-of-23 from long range.