The Miami Heat got back to what will ultimately help them win another championship: defense. The Heat gave up only 86 points to the Boston Celtics in their 93-86 win to improve to 30-12 for the season.
Playing again without All-Star guard Dwyane Wade, the Heat needed a bounce back game after a difficult loss to the Hawks the night before. LeBron James stepped up in Wade's absence and scored 29 points and had 8 rebounds. LeBron put the game away with his free throws down the stretch. Chris Bosh had 16 points and 6 rebounds.
The Heat took control of the game early on and had that for much of the game. The Celtics slowly chipped away at it in the second half, and even took a 2 point lead late in the fourth before the Heat eventually pulled away in the end. Boston couldn't find a basket down the stretch.
Rajon Rondo was a non-factor for much of the game for the Celtics, scoring only 1 point the entire game. They had 5 players in double figures to even out the scoring, led by Brandon Bass with 15 points. The Celtics lost Avery Bradley in the first quarter to an ankle injury.
The Heat were energized by Chris Andersen who had some nice put back dunks in the first half, and finished the game with 13 points. Greg Oden also go in on the mix in the first half and had a put back dunk in his 6 minutes. Oden also showed glimpses of his defensive ability, blocking Jeff Green at the rim. Oden played six minutes as he is still trying to get acclimated to playing NBA basketball.
Michael Beasley also played his role well scoring 9 points including a banked in three pointer from deep at the end of the first quarter. Beasley played a solid 13 minutes.
Miami wasn't ultra smooth offensively outside of the first quarter, but they shot 51% for the game and did enough defensively to make the Celtics struggle. The Heat were out rebounded by 13, but the Celtics poor shooting was enough to keep Miami ahead.
The Heat will play the LA Lakers on Thursday night.