Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 1/21

Game 1: Wednesday, January 21st
Celtics98Final
Heat83
Game 2: Wednesday, March 11th
Celtics99Final
Heat107
Game 3: Wednesday, March 18th
Heat108Final
OT
Celtics112
Game 4: Friday, April 10th
Heat98Final
Celtics105

Celtics 98

(35-9, 14-7 away)

Heat 83

(22-19, 12-7 home)

Coverage: SUNHD

7:30 PM ET, January 21, 2009

AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL

1 2 3 4 T
BOS 29 28 21 2098
MIA 10 24 30 1983

Top Performers

Boston: R. Allen 27 Pts, 5 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

Miami: D. Wade 25 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl

House's 20 second-quarter points help C's to sixth straight win

Associated Press

MIAMI -- Something about playing in Miami brings out the best in Eddie House.

Fast Facts

• After a season-long four-game losing streak, the Celtics have now won six straight. Each of Boston's last four wins have come by an average of 21.0 points.

• Celtics reserve Eddie House dumped in 20 points, which is more than he'd scored in any game this season, in the second quarter alone.

• Miami dropped its fourth straight home game to Boston.

-- ESPN research and The Associated Press

The former Heat guard scored 20 points -- more than he'd managed in any game this season -- in the second quarter, finishing with 25 and the Boston Celtics ran their winning streak to six games by downing the Miami Heat 98-83 on Wednesday night.

It was House's first 20-point game since Boston played at Miami in January 2008.

"Guys found me in open spots, they were fronting the post and we were moving the basketball," House said, while teammate Sam Cassell chanted "Edd-ie! Edd-ie" in the background. "And I was knocking them down."

He was 7-for-11 from 3-point range, Ray Allen was 5-for-6, and the Celtics finished a season-best 15-for-25 from beyond the arc, matching the most 3's ever allowed by the Heat in their 21 seasons.

Allen finished with a game-high 27 points, Kevin Garnett had 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Paul Pierce added 14 points for Boston.

"Eddie was phenomenal," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "And we needed him, too."

Dwyane Wade accepted his NBA player of the month award for December at halftime, under less-than-ideal circumstances -- his team trailed 57-34. Wade finished with 25 points, Daequan Cook scored 20 and Michael Beasley added 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Heat.

"I'm not sure I recognized what team was out there," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We were doing things that I hadn't seen us do this season."

Boston never trailed, running out to a 29-10 lead after one quarter and maintaining a double-digit lead the rest of the way. The Celtics (35-9) visit Orlando (33-8) on Thursday in a matchup of two of the league's top teams.

Miami got within 11 twice in the latter stages of the third quarter, only to have House -- who spent his first three seasons with the Heat -- answer each time. House dribbled his way free for a 20-foot jumper near the top of the key, then took a pass from Pierce for a 3-pointer that gave Boston a 78-64 lead entering the fourth.

"I think Eddie really needed a breakout game like this," Pierce said.

House essentially finished what Allen started.

Allen -- who attended the inauguration of President Barack Obama on Tuesday, spending more than an hour walking to his seat in the wintry air -- showed no signs of fatigue. He made his first three shots, including a pair of 3-pointers, to stake Boston to a quick 11-2 lead.

From there, the defending NBA champs were off and running.

Miami got within 11 once in the fourth quarter as well, only to see that snuffed out by an 8-0 run by Boston. Garnett hit a jumper, Allen then made consecutive 3-pointers, and the building quickly emptied during a time-out with 3:56 left and Boston up 95-76.

For good measure, Allen made another 3 -- his fifth of the night -- on Boston's next possession.

"There were some backbreakers out there, Eddie House early on, then Ray Allen," Wade said. "They did a good job of knowing where we were going to be."

The first quarter was one to forget for the Heat, who finished with a season-low 10 points, digging a 19-point hole.

Shawn Marion, who was limited to eight minutes -- he took treatment for a sore left groin throughout the day but wound up starting -- missed an easy dunk, perhaps the ultimate lowlight for Miami.

The Celtics also outrebounded Miami 18-5 in the first quarter, finishing the game with an 48-30 margin.

There was fleeting hope for Miami midway through the second quarter, when Wade's dunk off a fast break drew the Heat within 41-29 with 5:54 left in the half.

That's when House took over, sparking a 16-5 run by the Celtics.

He hit four 3-pointers in a span of 4:04, chatting with anyone in his general vicinity after the last two. Meanwhile, Miami missed eight of its final 10 shots of the half.

"We were terrible defensively," Beasley said. "We let a team come in and get into our heads. They kind of threw us off our game."

Game notes


Miami had given up 15 3-pointers on four other occasions, most recently against Phoenix on Nov. 9, 2007. ... House's six 3-pointers in the second quarter were the most Miami had ever allowed in a quarter. ... Miami's franchise record for lowest-scoring first quarter is eight points. For any quarter, it's seven. ... The Celtics got C Kendrick Perkins back after a five-game absence with a sore left shoulder. Perkins played in about 6-minute intervals, which is what Rivers planned. ... Hall of Fame QB Dan Marino was in the crowd, as was former Heat trainer Ron Culp, who retired last season after 20 years with the club.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
BOS
MIA
Points 98 83
FGM-FGA 37-72 (.514) 32-80 (.400)
3PM-3PA 15-25 (.600) 7-25 (.280)
FTM-FTA 9-13 (.692) 12-16 (.750)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-48 6-30
Assists 21 17
Turnovers 21 11
Steals 7 14
Blocks 3 2
Fast Break Points 8 21
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (0/0) 14 (0/0)
Largest Lead 23 0

Top Performers

Boston
Miami
Ray Allen Allen
Points: 27
Reb: 5
Ast: 5
Stl: 1
Blk: 0
Dwyane Wade Wade
Points: 25
Reb: 4
Ast: 4
Stl: 2
Blk: 0