NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, February 13th (All times eastern)
Miami Heat (39-14) at Boston Celtics (38-14), 1 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The top spot in the Eastern Conference is on the line Sunday when LeBron James and the Miami Heat try to solve the Boston Celtics.
An eight-game winning streak has vaulted Miami atop the Celtics in the conference standings by one-half game but the Heat and James in particular haven't been able to figure out Doc Rivers' Celtics. Miami is already 0-2 against Boston this season and also fell to the Celtics in the first round of last year's playoffs. Boston then followed that by eliminating James and his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Heat's latest win came at Detroit on Friday in the opener of a four-game road trip. Dwyane Wade finished with a game-high 24 points to go along with eight rebounds and seven assists in that one as Miami used a stellar first half and held on down the stretch, topping the Pistons 106-92.
Chris Bosh added 17 points and 10 rebounds while James scored 16 with 10 assists and eight rebounds for the Heat. Mike Miller added 16 points on 3-of-5 shooting from three-point range for the victors.
"We're playing some good basketball," James said. "We're doing it on both ends but offensively we're executing the best we have all year."
Miami, which is a solid 19-9 away from South Beach, will also visit Indiana and Toronto before the All-Star break.
The Celtics, meanwhile, have lost two straight, the latest of which came in the opener of a three-game homestand against the LA Lakers on Thursday when Kobe Bryant finished with a game-high 23 points and the Lakers spoiled Ray Allen's record-breaking night by topping Boston, 92-86.
"Kobe didn't win the game with his offense," Rivers said. "Kobe won the game with his defense. He was everywhere, trapping the post, blocking shots."
Allen led the Celtics with 20 points and broke Reggie Miller's NBA record for career three-pointers made after entering the game only one shy of the mark of 2,560.
He tied the record with a three-pointer late in the first, then moved atop the list with 1:48 remaining in the same quarter after Rajon Rondo hit him with a short pass near the top of the key and Allen connected on a near-perfect shot.
"It was overwhelming but a great moment. I'll remember this for the rest of my life," Allen said about the record breaking night.
Allen added one more three-pointer in the game for 2,562 and sits all alone atop the NBA record book after 15 seasons and 1,074 games.
"It was a magical moment, being in this building. I felt a little embarrassed that there was so much attention surrounding this moment," Allen continued.
Paul Pierce finished with 15 points while Rajon Rondo added 12 with 10 assists in the loss. Kendrick Perkins chipped in with 12 points and nine boards for Boston.
A win tonight by the Celtics would clinch the season series between the two clubs and give Boston the advantage in any potential tiebreaking scenarios.
02/13 10:36:22 ET