Boston turns up the heat on Miami

Boston turns up the heat on Miami

MIAMI - Reuters
Boston turns up the heat on Miami

The Celtics’ Rajon Rondo (R) goes up for a shot against the Heat’s Dwyane Wade. AP photo

The Boston Celtics stepped up their run to the playoffs on April 10 by upsetting Miami 115-107 for their second victory over the Heat in 10 days.

Kevin Garnett recorded 24 points and nine rebounds and Rajon Rondo had 18 points and 15 assists for the Celtics (33-24), who are two games out of third spot in the Eastern Conference. Boston have reached the NBA Finals in two of the last four seasons but with an aging roster, few considered them a legitimate title contender until their recent run.

“We’ve been put to the back burner all year long, this is our opportunity to show the world we still have a lot left in the tank,” Paul Pierce told reporters after scoring a team-high 27 points. “It’s a fun time of year, the playoffs are around the corner and we thrive in these situations.”

LeBron James tallied 36 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for Miami, while Dwyane Wade scored 20, but the Heat (40-16) slipped three games behind top seed Chicago.

“We’re not at a period of concern. The team played well,” Wade said of the Heat, who lost five times in 10 games. “They (Celtics) shot the ball very well. When they shoot like that, it’s going to be tough to beat them.”

Rondo had his 18th consecutive game with double-digit assists, the longest streak since John Stockton strung 29 games together in 1992.