Final Score: Miami 93, Boston 86
Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - LeBron James scored 11 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter as the Miami Heat held off the Boston Celtics 93-86 on Tuesday night.
The Heat led by as many as 18 in the first half, but trailed by two in the fourth quarter before James netted seven of the game's last nine points.
James also grabbed eight boards and dished out four assists for Miami, which was coming off a 2-4 road trip.
"Versus a team like this they're going to bring a lot of energy and effort and you have to match that," James said. "We were ready for anything tonight."
Kris Humphries had 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Celtics, who have dropped 12 of their last 13 games.
"LeBron James happened, that was one thing," Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said. "The way they turned it up defensively, our guys struggled with that ... those guys made passing tough, they made catching hard, they made dribbling hard."
Humphries' dunk with 3:08 left gave Boston its first lead, 86-84, since it was 5-4 minutes into the contest.
James, though, went 7-of-8 from the foul line as the Heat scored the last nine points of the game.
Rajon Rondo, who missed all eight of his shots from the field and finished with one point, was unable to connect on a pair of free throws with the Celtics down 90-86 with 44.4 ticks remaining.
Three games back into his return from knee surgery, Rondo had five assists and three turnovers. Boston had an early 5-2 lead, but Miami responded with a 17-2 run to jump in front. Mario Chalmers had six points during the surge, which was capped on a Ray Allen 3-pointer for a 19-7 Miami advantage with 4:03 left in the first.
Michael Beasley nailed a 3-pointer from halfcourt at the buzzer to stake the Heat a 29-15 cushion going into the second. Miami shot 63.2 percent (12-of-19) in the opening frame and held Boston to a 28.6 percent (6-of-21) clip from the field.
Bosh's 3-pointer with two seconds to go on the first-half clock gave the Heat a 51-40 cushion at the break.
Boston outscored Miami 27-20 in the third to whittle the gap to 71-67 heading into the final stanza, where it used an 8-2 spurt during the middle the late stages of the fourth to finally go in front.
The Heat scored 25 points off 18 Boston turnovers ... The Celtics outrebounded Miami, 46-33 ... Celtics guard Avery Bradley suffered a right ankle sprain and did not return.
01/22 00:50:25 ET
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