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Heat rally in second half to beat Celtics in Game 2

Boston wastes a 44-point, 10-assist effort by Rajon Rondo and loses, 115-111 in overtime, to Miami, which leads the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals, 2-0.

May 30, 2012|By Ira Winderman

MIAMI -- At the outset, this hardly had the feel of a comeback for the ages.

But against the aged, Miami survived fourth-quarter disaster and had the legs to pull off a 115-111 overtime victory Wednesday night over the Boston Celtics at AmericanAirlines Arena that pushed the Heat to a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals.

"This group had resolve," Heat guard Dwyane Wade said.

With Ray Allen hitting a three-pointer to tie the score late in regulation and LeBron James missing two shots at the end of the fourth quarter, the Heat had to go an extra five minutes.

It proved worth it, with the Heat now 6-0 all-time in playoff overtimes.

It could have been far easier had the Heat made a few more free throws and had Wade not gambled for a steal on the fourth-quarter possession that allowed Allen to tie it, but the Heat still managed to survive on a night point guard Rajon Rondo went for 44 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for the Celtics.

"He was absolutely phenomenal," Celtics Coach Doc Rivers said. "It's tough to have him play that way and not win the game."

And tough to walk out of this one with a loss.

"You don't throw it away. You hold it for 24 hours. And then you move on," Rivers said. "We've been very good about that. It's corny, but they've won two games at home and now we go to a place that we're very comfortable in."

James led the Heat with 34 points, supported by 23 from Wade and 22 from point guard Mario Chalmers. It is the third time the Heat have had three 20-point scorers in a playoff game.

Down by 15 points in the second period, it turned into the largest playoff comeback in the Heat's 24 seasons. The previous highs were a pair of 14-point comebacks, including the one that won the 2006 NBA Finals in Game 6 against the Dallas Mavericks.

Game 3 is 8:30 p.m. Eastern time Friday at TD Garden, where the Heat split a pair of games last postseason. The Heat went 0-2 on the Celtics' home court during the regular season.

The Heat were at their scintillating best in the third quarter, using a 12-0 run as part of a 21-8 closing to the period. While Wade scored 12 in the third and James added 11, the energy behind the charge was provided by reserve forward Udonis Haslem, who contributed seven points and six rebounds in the quarter.

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