MIAMI - New roster, same problem for the Miami Heat.
They just can’t find a way to beat the Boston Celtics.
Ray Allen hit his first seven 3-point tries and finished with 35 points, Paul Pierce added 25 points, and the Celtics led wire-to-wire in a 112-107 win over Miami on Thursday night – beating the Heat for the second time this season and handing them a second straight home loss.
Boston has won 13 of the last 14 regular-season meetings between the clubs in addition to eliminating Miami in the opening round of last season’s playoffs. Then, the Celtics ended the LeBron James era in Cleveland a couple of weeks later, setting the wheels in motion for James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to team up in Miami.
Rajon Rondo finished with 16 assists, and Kevin Garnett had 16 points and 13 rebounds for Boston.
James finished with 35 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, narrowly missing his second straight triple-double. Wade was held to eight points on 2-of-12 shooting. The Heat got within 110-107 on Udonis Haslem’s free throws with 13.3 seconds left, but Allen hit a pair of free throws to seal it.
Allen had seven 3-pointers for the 22nd time in his regular -season career. And it was as simple as Allen running to the open spot, then waiting to see if the Celtics could get the ball to him.
When they did, he made the Heat pay. His last 3 might have been the biggest – it put Boston up 102-89 midway through the fourth quarter.
Spurs’ bench takes hit: Spurs rookie James Anderson has a stress fracture in his right foot that is expected to keep him out for about two months. The former Oklahoma State star was developing into a 3-point shooter off the bench for the Spurs. He is scheduled for surgery next week,
Fastbreaks: The NBA fined Philadelphia 76ers forward Andres Nocioni $25,000 for throwing his mouthpiece into the stands during the first quarter of Philadelphia’s 109-103 loss at Oklahoma City on Wednesday night. The New Jersey Nets will take control of the operations of the NBA Development League’s Springfield, Mass., entry starting next season, joining Houston as the only NBA clubs to enter into a single-affiliation partnership. The Timberwolves waived guard Maurice Ager.