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WEEI » This Just In » Reserve clause: C's beat Heat again
Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:37pm  

Reserve clause: C's beat Heat again

With both teams resting their stars, the Celtics found a way to overcome a brutal start and beat the Heat, 78-66, Tuesday night at TD Garden. Paul Pierce played just 18 minutes, scoring eight points. 

Playing without starters Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett, and without Ray Allen, Mickael Pietrus and Greg Stiemsma, the Celtics found a way to overcome a horrid start and keep alive their hopes of home court in the first round against the Hawks. The Heat played the game without superstars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. 

The Celtics were led by Sasha Pavlovic with 16 points. Marquis Daniels added 13 off the bench and sparked the go-ahead rally with a slam dunk with 9:28 left. 

In one of the most brutal shooting performances in recent team history, the Celtics missed their first seven shots and fell behind 11-0. The Celtics didn't score until Pierce hit a turnaround jumper in the paint with 5:45 left in the opening quarter. The Heat didn't run away with the game because they commited 11 turnovers in the first quarter. The Celtics commited seven themselves, leading to 13 Miami points. Boston made just 4-of-17 shots in the first quarter and finished the first quarter shooting 23.5 percent, trailing 17-10 after 12 minutes. 

The Celtics weren't much better in the second quarter but managed to outscore the Heat 18-17 and trailed 34-28 at the half. 

The Celtics trailed 46-36 in the third quarter when they went on a 10-0 run to tie the game. They took their first lead on a Pavlovic layup with 27.5 seconds left in the third and managed to head into the fourth tied at 50. 

Daniels and Pavlovic sparked the fourth-quarter run as the Celtics caught fire and finished off the Heat, outscoring Miami 28-16 in the fourth.

The Celtics improved to 38-27 and remained one game behind the Hawks for home court. If the Hawks lose to Dallas on Thursday at home and the Celtics beat the Bucks in their finale Thursday at the Garden, the Celtics will have home court against the Hawks in the first round and will open at home because they won the season series, 2-1.

For complete coverage from the team of Paul Flannery, Mike Petraglia and Ben Rohrbach, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics and the Green Street blog.




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