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HHH GameTime Preview: Heat visit Boston

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The Heat take on the Boston Celtics in the first of back-to-back road games this weekend.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Today at 3PM, the Miami Heat will face the Boston Celtics at TD Garden in Boston, MA. This is the second of three games this season between the two. The Celtics won the first one on Miami's court, 105-95 on November 30th. They'll conclude the regular season series (and the regular season) on April 13th back in Boston.

The Heat just finished a three game homestand, defeating the Washington Wizards 114-94 on Saturday, beating the Indiana Pacers, 101-93 in overtime on Monday, and dropping a tightly fought 118-112 decision to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday. After today's early game, they'll face the New York Knicks tomorrow night.

The Celtics are in the second game of a five-game homestand. They started with a 112-107 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, and will welcome the Utah Jazz on Monday, the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday, and the Knicks on Friday.

The last time Miami and Boston played, as mentioned above, was on November 30th in Miami. The Celtics won, 105-95 behind 25 points from Avery Bradley. Amir Johnson had 13 points with 10 rebounds, and Isaiah Thomas had 16 points and nine assists for the win. Dwyane Wade scored 30 points with five steals, backed by Chris Bosh's 21 points, 10 rebounds, and five helpers.

They played their game from the start. They were the desperate team tonight. - Wade

CelticsBlog is SB Nation's source for Boston Celtics news.

Miami's last game, on Wednesday, would see the Heat hang tight with the Golden State Warriors for three quarters before losing steam in the fourth and ending up with a 118-112 loss. Stephen Curry scored 42 points with seven rebounds and seven assists, and Klay Thompson pitched in with 33. The two combined to go 10-of-20 from three-point distance. Miami was led by 32 from Dwyane Wade, along with seven assists. Hassan Whiteside had 21 points and 13 rebounds, and Luol Deng scored 16 with 11 rebounds for his fourth straight double-double.

We had our opportunities. Our guys played their butts off. ... This is for competitors only. This is competition at its finest. - Heat coach Erik Spoelstra

News on Golden State can be found at Golden State Of Mind.

Boston earned a 112-107 home win over the Milwaukee Bucks in their last game, on Thursday night. Thomas scored 27 with seven helpers and a game-high plus-15 rating, Jae Crowder scored 20 on eight-of-10 shooting with eight rebounds, and Bradley had 18 in the win. Jabari Parker had 22 with six boards, Khris Middleton scored 21 with six assists and five rebounds, and Greg Monroe came off the bench to score 20 on nine-of-13 shooting with eight rebounds.

I just want to make that winning play. Whether it be that rebound, that steal, that shot. I want to do whatever it takes to win and whatever it takes to hold this team together. - Crowder

Brew Hoop has your Bucks.

GameTime: 3PM, CSNHD, FS-SUN

All-Time Head-to-Head: Miami's 44-63 record versus Boston stands as their worst against any Eastern Conference team, at .411.

Standings

Miami Heat: 32-25, .561, on pace for 46-36. First in the Southeast Division, fourth in the Eastern Conference, ninth in the NBA. Last Five: L-W-W-W-L. Playoff Odds: 94.0%

Boston Celtics: 34-25, .576, on pace for 47-35. Second in the Atlantic Division, third in the Eastern Conference, eighth in the NBA. Last Five: W-L-W-L-W. Playoff Odds: 99.5%

Injury Report (from cbssports.com)

Miami Heat: Udonis Haslem (illness) is a game-time decision. Chris Bosh (blood clots, March 15th) and Tyler Johnson (shoulder, April 2nd) will take a lot longer, and Beno Udrih (foot) is out for the rest of the season.

Boston Celtics: Jonas Jerebko (ankle) is a game-time decision, and Kelly Olynyk (shoulder) is out until at least March 15th. Sorry for all those Olynyk fans out there.

Probable Starting Lineups (and first replacements off the bench)

Miami Heat
PG - Goran Dragic
SG - Dwyane Wade (Gerald Green)
C - Amar'e Stoudemire (Hassan Whiteside)
SF - Luol Deng (Josh Richardson)
PF - Justise Winslow (Josh McRoberts)

Boston Celtics
PG - Isaiah Thomas (Marcus Smart)
SG - Avery Bradley (Evan Turner)
C - Jared Sullinger
SF - Jae Crowder
PF - Amir Johnson

Heat Milestones

Udonis Haslem is stuck at 715 assists, two short of 16th all-time Dan Majerle. He's also been stuck for a while on 246 blocks, tied with Eddie Jones in ninth all-time.

Hassan Whiteside needs 31 points to pass Jon Sundvold into 48th on Miami's all-time leaderboard, at 1,209.

Luol Deng will tie Kevin Willis in 32nd all-time with 12 points, giving each of them 1,591. Billy Owens has 1,592.

Thanks for stopping by Hot Hot Hoops. If you have a second and like Miami Heat gear, head over to Fan Essentials. They load up a box for you on a monthly basis chock full of Miami Heat stuff, for an affordable price, then have it shipped straight to you. I'm expecting mine any minute now, and I'm pretty stoked. I paid $35 for what they claim is $145 worth of gear. I will update you when I open it - I don't want to mislead anyone, so you can expect a reasonable, level-headed report. Suffice it to say, if I'm satisfied with what I get, I'll keep on pitching this company. If not, I'll let you know. Check back here just before the tipoff to join the GameThread, and check in afterward for the post game article and my season-long series, Five Stars.