NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, March 18th (All times eastern)
Miami Heat (36-30) at Boston Celtics (50-18), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Boston Celtics will try again for a second straight Atlantic Division title tonight when they return home to face the Miami Heat at TD Banknorth Garden.
Boston lost both tests on a recent road trip and four of five overall, including Tuesday's 127-121 loss at Chicago. Paul Pierce scored 37 points and Rajon Rondo ended with 26 and 10 assists for the Celtics, who got 17 points from Ray Allen. Boston fell to 6-6 in its last 12 games without All-Star center Kevin Garnett, who is nursing a knee strain and is out indefinitely.
Kendrick Perkins had 14 points and 10 boards, while Leon Powe recorded just two points and three boards in 4:22 before leaving the game early with a bruised right knee. Powe (knee), Allen (elbow) and Rondo (ankle) are all questionable tonight for Boston.
The Celtics, seeded second in the East behind Cleveland, are 33-9 against conference opponents this season and will put their 27-6 home record on the line Wednesday.
Miami will try to get back on track tonight as it resumes a four-game road trip in Beantown. The Heat had their three-game winning streak stopped in the opener of the trek on Sunday in Philadelphia, as Dwyane Wade was held to 18 points in an 85-77 setback to the Sixers.
Wade entered the game averaging 39.9 points over his previous eight games. Jermaine O'Neal posted 20 points and Udonis Haslem contributed 10 and 11 rebounds for Miami, which is fifth in the conference standings and 12-19 away from South Beach this season.
The Heat will also visit New Jersey and Detroit on the road swing. Wade (thigh) is probable for tonight and guard Daequan Cook (root canal/left cheek) is listed as questionable against Boston.
Boston and Miami have beaten each other once this season, with the Heat winning the latest encounter on March 11 in South Beach to snap a six-game slide in the series.
The Celtics have won two straight and six of 10 as the host versus Miami.
03/18 10:37:55 ET