The Miami Heat had to dig into their reserves in order to keep their 23 game win streak alive on Monday evening when they entered the home of the Boston Celtics. Even though Boston was playing without key players in Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett, they were determined to end the streak at 22 and came within seconds of doing so before losing the game, 105 to 103.
Celtics fans can thank one Jeff Green for giving them perhaps the most exciting game of the season as he stepped outside of himself and put on a career best performance. His 43 points on 14-21 shooting put on a show for both Heat and Celtics followers. This includes 5-7 from the 3-point line and 10-13 from the free throw stripe. Paul Pierce with 17 and Courtney Lee with 13 were the only other two Celtic players to break double digits, but Green did all he could to keep Boston in the game up until the very end.
On the other side of the ball, LeBron James helped chip away at the stigma that he fades during clutch time in games. At the end of the evening he had 37 points, 12 assists, and 7 rebounds while shooting 16-29 from the floor. The biggest shots came at the end of the game when he hit the game tying layup and then the go-ahead jumper to give the Heat the lead with less than 10 seconds left. It would be unfortunate to not point out the last seconds of play by Shane Battier who had a key block at the end of the game against Green and a heads up in-bound play to keep the Celtics from being able to get possession of the ball again in the final seconds.
A number of Heat players got on the board to help the effort against the Celtics. Mario Chalmers ended the night with 21 points while going 4-5 from three point range. Dwyane Wade added 16 while Chris Bosh gave the Heat 13 points.
With this win the Miami Heat improve to 52-14 while increasing their lead on the San Antonio Spurs for the best record in the league by 1 and a half games. Their next game is on Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Boston Celtics drop to 36-30 while sitting in the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference. Their next game is against the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday.