The Boston Celtics frittered away a 15-point 4th quarter lead to the Miami Heat Friday night in front of a sell out crowd at the TD BankNorth Garden but managed to eke out a 92-91 win.
Trailing 91-90 Celtics captain Paul Pierce, who was in foul trouble all night, rolled off a pick onto the baseline and under the hoop after a pump fake on Udonas Haslem he laid the ball in with 25 seconds to play to give Boston the lead.
The Heat called for a 20-second time out and set up a play for Dwayne Wade to take the final shot, which he did. The shot clanged the back of the rim and James Posey grabbed the loose ball as the horn sounded and Celtics escaped with a win to improve to 8-0 on the year.
In the fourth quarter and really through out the game, the Celtics got careless and abandoned what got them to this point and ended up with too many turnovers and too much individual play and it almost cost them.
Kevin Garnett had a double-double with 26 points and 11 boards to lead Boston, while Miami’s Wade in his first start of the year had 23 points and 6 helpers. The Celtics also had 19 points and 7 assists from UConn product Ray Allen and former Celtic Ricky Davis had 20 points for the Heat.
Ian preaches about how important foul shots are when he writes about UConn. Well maybe Jim Calhoun can get Allen (7/7), Garnett (6/6) and company to help out as the Green went 17 of 18 from the charity stripe for a sizzling 94%. Miami was only 16-28 (57%) as the usually sure shooting Wade went 7 for 12 at the line as the Heat fall to 1-8 on the year.
Boston visits Orlando on Sunday at 6 p.m. to play the Magic.