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Celtics 112, Heat 108 (Beyond the Box Score)

BOSTON - This one could have been ugly. It could have been over by the end of the first quarter. Without Dwyane Wade, the Heat wasn't supposed to stand a chance.

Not that moral victories count in the standings - or the locker room for that matter. But pushing Boston to overtime without the leading scorer Dwyane Wade there to do the heavy lifting was an accomplishment for this Heat team. They can't survive like this.

But it was a confidence-boosting effort. If there's anything to take from Wednesday's 112-108 overtime loss at TD Banknorth Garden, that was it. The bigger concern, though, has to do with Wade's return. For now, the team is saying he's day-to-day, and his availability will depend on the success of his rigorous treatment marathon sessions.

Make no mistake. Wade's hip flexor turned out to be an injury that was far more serious than initially let on. Of course, the Heat doesn't want to advertise Wade's ailments. But his absence from Wednesday's game came as a bit of a shock, considering Wade said the previous day that he wanted to still play all 82. Having said that, he can't miss many more games if the Heat is to hold onto the fifth seed in the East. The last thing Miami can afford to do is take a dip in the standings at this point.

Player of the Game: Mario Chalmers - The rookie point guard grew up in a hurry Wednesday night. We mentioned the comparison between Chalmers and Celtics guard Rajon Rondo in this space yesterday. Chalmers went out and held his own in that highly competitive matchup. Chalmers took over down the stretch and made plenty of plays in the lane. He finished with 19 points and nine assists in 36 minutes. He only had one turnover. If the Heat can get this from Chalmers at least every other game, it's a plus.

Surprise, Surprise: James Jones - Was perfect from the field on four attempts and finished with nine points and two assists. He also provided a bit of defense with his length. He doesn't have to be perfect every night. But does have to have at least some sort of impact on the game, which hasn't been the case for much of the season.

Lit 'em Up: Paul Pierce - Scored 24 of his 36 points in the second half, including five points in the overtime period. Pierce had to carry a big part of the load with two-thirds of the Big 3 sidelined with injuries. Pierce was 3 of 5 from three-point range, and put on a jump-shooting clinic in the second half to keep Boston in it to win it. He also had 11 rebounds and five assists.

Stat of the Night: 54.9 - The Celtics shot 54.9 percent from the field and was 60 percent from three-point range.

That Says it All:"Pierce really made it tough. He was scoring on every one of our matchups." - Heat coach Erik Spoelstra on Paul Pierce's ability to take over the game down the stretch.

Next Up: Friday - Heat at New Jersey Nets, 7:30 IZOD Center. 

Comments

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We loose a good oportunity to improve in the standings. Bad moment now, especially if D-Wade will not be healthy in the next games. Good for us that Sixers and Pistons loose too.

Heat blew this game....rookie mistakes blew this game....but w/e....We sowed a lot tonight without D wade....

bealsey is a monster....JO has put together 3 str8 good games....and Chalmers showed he can ball tonight, jones shot well.....Now if only we were consistent....and when wade plays, they would play like that....we would be dangerous in the playoffs

Spo got out coached, cook was in too many minutes and his shooting was horrible. A play should have been designed to ice the game with Jones taking the shot. He was 4/4 from the field and didn't take a shot the last 2 minutes.

Wade sitting out tonight was a blessing in disguise. Tonight both rookies played liked men and showed the heats potential without wade which has been lacking. I want to see the hawks in the first round so we can torch them. then "king" bron vs. wade in the semis, this is going to be a fun postseason.

well, at this point, position, have to be the phrase.. in terms of playoff position.. who makes for a better first round matchup... question? whats wrong with dorell?? this team has some fight, but i think we might need to work on some sets that make whats available a little easier, in terms of roster.. a lot more movement.. but without wade this will not look good at all.. still right there, keep working, the teams that are leading now don't really seem like finals locks, anything could happen..

Not a single mention of Beasley who was actually our saviour in this game? Not a single mention of Spo being braindead on defense, his supposed strong suit?

come on Beasley was by far our best player tonight and not one mention?? He gets crap when he plays badly but nothing when he plays well. strange

HOW THE FUCKKK IS BEASLEY NOT PLAYER OF THE GAME??? SHOWS YOU DONT KNOW SHIITTT OF WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT! CHALMERS PLAYED WELL BUT BEASLEY WAS THE IMPACT PLAYER! END OF STORY. LOOKS LIKE MY BOY TAKING HASLEM SPOT LITTLE BY LITTLE. HASLEM YOU STILL MY DAWG AND LOVE HOW YOU PLAY BUT YOU HURT MY MAN. AND LIKE BOSTON, NOBODY IS GONNA FEEL SORRY FOR YOU.

If you take away the 21 points and 7 rebounds, 2 assts, blocked shot -no fouls
contributed by Mike Beasley the Heat would have looked like the AAU team they played like in the first quarter. You have to be the dumbest sports writer I have ever seen!
It must be in the water because Miami has more than its share stupid ---holes. I can help you get some scholarship money to go back to school, or maybe that is the problem, you were a dropout; or you were not listening when the lessons on rational thinking, comprehension, and even honesty
were taught.

If only guys could play like this with Wade on the floor. You had Chalmers making plays, Beasley playing like the best rookie in the league and J.O. making good plays for us. I bet if guys would play like that with Wade, instead of staring and waiting for him, it will take pressure of him and we'll win a lot more consistently. This is probally the only time I'd be happy after a Heat loss but it's hard to be mad when your teams future stars shined so bright against the world champs so early in their careers.

"I bet if guys would play like that with Wade, instead of staring and waiting for him, it will take pressure of him and we'll win a lot more consistently."

Whose fault do you think it is that they don't play like that? Freaking mediocre coach - Spo!

He doesn't coach any offense besides give to wade and watch. He doesn't coach any defense that makes sense and takes our team into consideration. What is this stupid rotating thing we've been doing that has been leaving teams open on the 3pt line even before we got JO? The easiest way to beat Miami is to just shoot 3pts and go through your PF because Haslem has been horrible but is guaranteed to get 35 minutes per game.

Spo has also run Wade into the ground because he's afraid to take risks, be innovative and to coach. That is why he hides behind his dumb "they are vets and know what we are trying to do" excuse.

hey, if wade is not able tp play tonight, try playing dorell and moon together with charlmers, beasley, maglore.. i think this lineup could be that start of the second lineup when wade sits getting rest.. but we need wade back.. get well soon...

now with that lineup guys have to be aggressive.. charlmers, you have to run the show, those two wings can both cut to the basket for dunks, beasley on pick and rolls, pick and pops.. maglore, rebounds, blocks shots..

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