Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 2/6

Game 1: Monday, February 6th
Celtics98Final
Heat114
Game 2: Wednesday, March 1st
Heat103Final
Celtics96
Game 3: Thursday, March 16th
Celtics104Final
Heat107
Game 4: Wednesday, April 19th
Heat78Final
Celtics85

Heat 103

(37-20, 16-14 away)

Celtics 96

(23-34, 16-13 home)

7:30 PM ET, March 1, 2006

TD Garden, Boston, MA

1 2 3 4 T
MIA 26 20 27 30103
BOS 28 20 20 2896

Top Performers

Miami: D. Wade 24 Pts, 5 Reb, 8 Ast, 2 Stl

Boston: P. Pierce 38 Pts, 6 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

Heat extend win streak to seven in win over Celtics

BOSTON (AP) -- After struggling through three quarters, Antoine Walker came through when it mattered most against his old team.

Dwyane Wade had 24 points and eight assists, Walker scored all of his 13 points in the fourth quarter, and the Miami Heat extended their winning streak to seven with a 103-96 victory over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.

"Any time you come back and beat your old team, it has meaning," said Walker, who spent the first seven years of his career with the Celtics. "In the fourth quarter, I just told myself to be aggressive."

Shaquille O'Neal added 16 points and nine rebounds for the Heat, who had six players score in double figures and outscored the Celtics 56-32 in the paint.

Wade, the Eastern Conference player of the month for February, shot 7-of-15 from the field and was 10-of-16 from the free throw line. He also had five rebounds for the Heat, who have won 12 of 14 and improved to 26-10 since Pat Riley took over for Stan Van Gundy as coach Dec. 12.

Paul Pierce, who set a Celtics record by averaging 33.5 points per game in February, scored 38 points. Delonte West had 20 and Wally Szczerbiak added 12 for the Celtics.

Walker, making his first appearance in Boston since been traded to the Heat in the offseason, was 0-of-4 from the floor through three quarters. But he was 5-of-7 in the fourth, including 3-of-5 from beyond the 3-point line, as the Celtics' two-game winning streak ended.

"In the second half and fourth quarter, you could see he was ready to make the shots," Wade said. "When you got veteran guys like 'Toine coming off the bench, they won't let you lose."

The Heat led by as many as 11 early in the fourth quarter, but West and Ryan Gomes sparked a Boston rally.

After Shandon Anderson's free throw gave the Heat an 80-70 lead with 9:47 remaining, West hit two consecutive 3-pointers to pull Boston within 80-76.

Walker then made a 3-pointer to extend Miami's lead to 85-78, but Raef LaFrentz and West made back-to-back 3-pointers and Gomes hit a 21-foot jumper to make it 86-85 and give Boston its first lead since early in the third quarter.

After the teams traded baskets, Walker gave Miami the lead for good when his layup made it 90-88 with 4:44 remaining.

Walker's third 3-pointer of the fourth then pushed Miami's lead to 100-94 with 55 seconds remaining.

"You've got to pick your poison with them," Pierce said. "We're doubling Shaq and paying so much attention to Wade, we leave Antoine open. He was able to step up and knock down some shots."

Anderson scored a season-high 15 points and Jason Williams added 13 points and nine assists for Miami.

After scoring 28 first-quarter points, Boston managed just 40 in the second and third quarters combined. O'Neal had three blocked shots and Alonzo Mourning had two for Miami.

"I thought we really lost our intensity," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "We started watching them play for a while, and I thought that really hurt us."

Al Jefferson, who returned after missing nine games with a sprained right ankle, contributed seven points and five rebounds for the Celtics.

Jefferson scored the first five points of the second quarter to extend Boston's lead to 33-26.

But Anderson scored six in the second quarter to help the Heat chip away at the lead and pull to within 48-46 at halftime.

Game notes


The Heat have shot better than 50 percent from the field in a franchise-record six consecutive games. ... The Heat were 6-of-17 from the free throw line in the first half. ... Pierce is the only player in the NBA to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists and steals per game. ... The Celtics fell to 5-3 with Gomes in the starting lineup. ...Riley was the Eastern Conference coach of the month for February. The Heat went 8-2 in the month. ... The Celtics have yet to win three consecutive games this year.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Team Stat Comparison

 
MIA
BOS
Points 103 96
FGM-FGA 39-77 (.506) 33-67 (.493)
3PM-3PA 8-19 (.421) 10-22 (.455)
FTM-FTA 17-32 (.531) 20-23 (.870)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 15-42 7-36
Assists 25 19
Turnovers 9 16
Steals 10 6
Blocks 6 0
Fast Break Points 13 13
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (1/0) 25 (0/0)
Largest Lead 11 7

Top Performers

Miami
Boston
Dwyane Wade Wade
Points: 24
Reb: 5
Ast: 8
Stl: 2
Blk: 0
Paul Pierce Pierce
Points: 38
Reb: 6
Ast: 3
Stl: 2
Blk: 0