LeBron James (left) sits on the bench with Chris Bosh during the first half.
Final: Celtics 78, Heat 66: The Celtics defeated the Miami Heat, 78-66, tonight at TD Garden, winning a game in which both sides chose to rest key players.
In the absence of starters Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo, Sasha Pavlovic scored 16 points for the Celtics. Boston can still clinch homecourt advantage in the playoffs with a win Thursday and a Hawks loss vs. Dallas.
Miami rested LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh in the loss.
4:44 4th quarter, Celtics 65-56 Sasha Pavlovic with a big 3-pointer from the corner to give the Celtics a little breathing room. Pavlovic has 11 points on 5 of 8 shooting.
8:29 4th quarter, Celtics 56-52 Sean Williams with the rebound and the putback. On the other end, Williams swats a Juwan Howard offering into the stands.
END 3d quarter, Tied at 50 A basketball game is breaking out.
1:35 3d quarter, Tied at 46 First tie of the game for the Celtics. We may see overtime. Will we see either team top 75 points?
3:54 3d quarter, Heat 46-42 An 8-2 run by the Celtics has them in this game. Will the Celtics top their season-low of 71 points?
7:59 3d quarter, Heat 44-34 Paul Pierce starts the second half. Keyon Dooling has also returned.
Halftime, Heat 34-28: Not much to redeem this first half. Paul Pierce could be done for the night after scoring four points in 11 minutes. His effort will not earn him the NBA scoring title.
4:22 2d quarter, Heat 26-23: Keyon Dooling leaves the game holding a towel to his face. Dooling screams a few curse words after he walks into the tunnel and toward the locker room.
6:38 2d quarter, Heat 23-18: James Jones killed the Celtics with 3-point shooting in Game 1 of the teams’ playoff series last year. He just made a three here. Not quite as big of a deal.
11:11 2d quarter, Heat 17-13: Former BC center Sean Williams checks in and gets to the line. Wiliams is built like an NBA big man. Who knows, maybe he can give the Celtics some frontcourt depth.
END 1st quarter, Heat 17-10: You knew it wouldn’t be pretty, but this is dismal. If it makes you feel any better, Josh Beckett started pitching to Justin Morneau with about four minutes to go in the first quarter of this game and just now put him on base with a walk.
So I guess this is less worse?
3:02 1st quarter, Heat 13-6: Paul Pierce has five turnovers already. The Celtics’ season-low for points in a quarter is 12. Doubtful they make it.
5:48 1st quarter, Heat 11-2: Paul Pierce with the spin-o-rama jumper for two points. The drought is over.
6:41 1st quarter, Heat 9-0: This is what happens when Rajon Rondo doesn’t play. Avery Bradley isn’t exactly showing he can be a point guard at the moment. Celtics are 0-for-7 with four turnovers.
8:17 1st quarter, Miami 5-0: Not sure how the Celtics are going to score with this unit if Paul Pierce is off on his jumpers. How’s it going to happen?
Pregame: This one isn’t likely to be replayed on Hardwood Classics anytime soon. Most of the stars are out for both teams, though Paul Pierce is playing. No one let any Heat players go near Brandon Bass. Wondering if we’ll see some flashes from JaJuan Johnson …