NBA Game Summary - Miami at Boston
(Friday, April 15th)
Final Score: Boston 101, Miami 99
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce finished with 22 points and hit a key jumper with nine seconds left to help the Boston Celtics edge the Miami Heat, 101-99, at the FleetCenter.
Boston's magic number to clinch the Atlantic Division is now one. Philadelphia, which is three games behind the Celtics, kept its slim division title hopes alive with a win in Indiana on Friday.
Al Jefferson netted a career-high 19 points and Ricky Davis added 16 for the Celtics, who have won three straight and six of their last eight games. Antoine Walker posted 13 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists in the victory.
Shaquille O'Neal netted a game-high 34 points and Dwyane Wade scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half for the Heat, who have dropped four straight games. Miami has already secured the top seed in the Eastern Conference standings.
Udonis Haslem recorded 13 points and 15 boards in the loss and Rasual Butler added 13 points.
The Heat led 81-79 after three quarters and the game would go down to the wire. The score was tied at 89-89 near the midway point of the fourth, but Boston scored the next seven points to grab a 96-89 cushion. Jefferson scored the last four points in the stretch and his set of free throws made it a seven-point game with 5:31 left.
Miami answered with a 10-2 run to grab a 99-98 lead with 18.2 seconds left. Damon Jones' driving layup capped the spurt and gave the Heat the one-point lead.
However, Pierce drilled an 18-foot jumper from the right wing to give Boston a 100-99 edge with nine seconds left. Wade missed a runner in the lane at the other end and O'Neal missed on the putback attempt. Pierce then hit 1-of-2 from the foul line and Wade missed an off-balance three-pointer at the buzzer.
The Celtics held a 13-12 lead early in the first quarter, but turned that into an eight-point cushion with an 11-4 run. Miami would get the lead down to 26-21, but Boston closed the period with eight straight points to grab a 34-21 advantage.
Boston continued to add to its cushion in the second quarter and would lead by as many as 17 points when Davis' bucket made it 54-37 with 2:50 remaining. However, Miami ended the half on a 9-0 burst to cut the deficit to 54-46 at the break.
Davis led all scorers with 16 points at the half and O'Neal paced the Heat with 14 points.
Miami started the third quarter on a 12-4 run to even the score at 58-58. Wade's three-point play gave the Heat a 63-62 edge, marking their first lead since holding a 3-0 advantage. The rest of the quarter was back and forth and the Heat led 81-79 heading into the fourth.
Boston ended a four-game losing streak to the Heat. The Celtics also defeated Miami for the fourth time in six meetings in Beantown...Wade scored a career- high 48 points in Thursday's loss to the Sixers...Jefferson scored all of his points in the second half...The Celtics outrebounded Miami, 50-35.
04/15 22:58:39 ET