Heat Trio Make Triumphant Return
LeBron James led with 20 points and nine assists in a 109-101 win over Boston as the Miami Heat benefited from having their big three reunited for the first time in two weeks.
James also had six rebounds, Chris Bosh finished with 17 points and seven rebounds and Dwyane Wade chipped in with 11 points on Friday for the Heat, who have a franchise record 63 wins on the season.
Because of injuries, Miami's magic trio has been in and out of the lineup in recent weeks weeks.
"It was good to have most of our guys back tonight," Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We have to keep moving forward."
The Heat, who have already clinched home-court advantage through the playoffs, also wanted to give them a rest as the regular season winds down.
Heading into Friday's contest, James had missed four of the team's last six games to rest an ailing hamstring.
Wade missed six games because of an ankle and knee injuries and Bosh had missed the previous three games with a knee problem and an illness.
Wade bumped his sore knee against the Celtics and will receive more treatment on Saturday. Miami host Chicago on Sunday in the third-to-last game of the season.
"I'm not at 100 percent," Wade said. "I haven't been at 100 percent in a long time."
Rashard Lewis chipped in 19 points for the Heat in the win over the under-manned Celtics.
Jeff Green and Jordan Crawford paced Boston with 25 and 20 points, respectively.
Green hurt his left elbow during the game but said afterward he was OK.
"I had the nerve go numb and it wouldn't come back as fast as I wanted it to," Green said. "I'm fine."
The Celtics played without their two leading scorers as Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett sat with lingering ankle issues.
Courtney Lee opened the second quarter with a three-pointer to give Boston a 30-17 lead at American Airlines Arena.
Miami answered with a 17-4 run to level the score and took their first lead of the contest on a Norris Cole three-pointer with just under five minutes left in the second.
The Heat led 58-50 at halftime after Wade hit a field goal at the buzzer to cap a 41-point quarter.
Miami never trailed in the second half and took an 87-75 lead into the fourth thanks to Lewis' three-pointer in the final minute of the third.
Lewis also nailed a three-pointer on the first possession of the fourth while being fouled. He missed the free throw but it didn't matter as the Heat kept rolling the rest of the way.