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Heat, Celtics renew rivalry in South Beach
(SportsNetwork.com) - The rivalry between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics has lost its luster now that Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are in Brooklyn.
But at least Miami's strong nucleus is still intact.
The Heat and Celtics bump heads Saturday night at AmericanAirlines Arena, where Miami posted its third straight win with Thursday's 102-97 besting of the Los Angeles Clippers. Dwyane Wade had a season-high 29 points on 13-of-22 shooting, dished out seven assists and grabbed four rebounds.
LeBron James added 18 points, six assists and five boards, while Ray Allen and Chris Anderson scored 12 and 10 points, respectively, for the Heat, who shot 53.5 percent for the game and scored 24 points off 19 L.A. turnovers to improve to 3-0 at home.
"We made a lot of plays. The intensity, you could see it pick up in the second half," Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said in his 400th game.
Miami had a 91-80 lead before the Clippers chipped away, but the Heat were able to pull it out at the end. Miami has now scored at least 100 points in each of the first six games to start the season, the longest streak to start a season in franchise history.
The Heat have won eight in a row and 25 of their last 26 regular season games at home dating back to last season. They will also host Milwaukee and Dallas on this four-game homestand.
Boston has won two in a row after four consecutive losses.
On Friday, the C's toppled the Orlando Magic, 91-89. It was Boston's ninth straight victory over the Magic as that streak dates back to Christmas of 2010.
Six Celtics scored in double figures, led by 16 from Brandon Bass. Avery Bradley, Jordan Crawford, Courtney Lee, Jared Sullinger and Jeff Green all cracked the 10-point plateau.
Boston only committed 11 turnovers on Friday, despite a poor shooting performance. The Celtics shot 35.8 percent from the field and 14 percent from the 3-point line.
Despite the winning streak, the Celtics aren't feeling too high.
"We have to get better," Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said. "It's good to win, but we play at Miami on Saturday and they're the best team in the league. It never stops. You have to ride the momentum but you can't let it consume you."
The Celtics lost three of four matchups with the Heat last season. The Heat are only 40-59 all-time versus the Celtics in the regular season and 24-27 in games played down south. James averaged 29.3 ppg in this series last season.
Allen, of course, played for the Celtics from 2007-12 and was a member of their 2008 NBA Championship team.
11/09 10:47:52 ET
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