MIAMI — The Celtics will enter tonight’s game needing one victory to clinch the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race but they will be hard pressed to get a victory under these circumstances. They will be without Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett while Miami coach Erik Spoelstra announced that the Heat will play all of their Big Three, meaning it could get ugly early.
BOSTON CELTICS (40-38)
PG Avery Bradley
SG Courtney Lee
SF Jeff Green
PF Brandon Bass
C Chris Wilcox
MIAMI HEAT (62-16)
PG Mario Chalmers
SG Dwyane Wade
SF Mike Miller
PF LeBron James
C Chris Bosh
Officials: James Capers, Mark Lindsay, Sean Wright
TV, radio: 7:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, NBA TV, WEEI (93.7 FM).
• Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are expected to play Saturday against the Orlando Magic, when their chances are much better to secure the seventh seed. Both are resting sore ankles
• For the Heat, Udonis Haslem and Shane Battier will not play to rest various ailments. LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade have played together just twice in the past three weeks but James said they don’t need much more time on the floor together before the playoffs.
• James also added that he and his teammates would like to know their first-round playoff opponent as quickly as possible so they can begin scouting. The Heat are 4-0 this season against the Milwaukee Bucks and 2-1 against the Celtics entering tonight.
• With Pierce out, Courtney Lee gets back in the starting lineup along with Chris Wilcox to replace Garnett.
• In three games this season against the Heat and only one start, Jeff Green is averaging 19 points. 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. He will need another big game for the Celtics to have a shot tonight.