Miami Heat at Boston Celtics (+5, 189)
Recent whispers out of Boston Celtics camp suggested that they were not very impressed with the Miami Heat's lengthy winning streak. The Celtics now have a chance to end it when the Heat carry a 22-gamer -- tied for the second longest in NBA history -- into Monday's matchup at TD Garden. Miami rolled to a 108-91 win at Toronto on Sunday, matching the 2007-08 Houston Rockets on the all-time list. Amazingly, Boston ended Houston's streak five years ago to the day.
The Heat's last loss came at Indiana on Feb. 1. Five days earlier, Miami lost an epic double-overtime game at Boston on the day that the Celtics learned that All-Star guard Rajon Rondo was out for the season. Including that victory in the latest chapter of a solid rivalry, Boston has gone 16-6, the latest a 105-88 drubbing of Charlotte on Saturday. That win came without star forward Kevin Garnett, who sat with a left adductor strain. Garnett did not practice Sunday and coach Doc Rivers said his emotional leader is 50/50.TV:
8 p.m. ET, ESPN, Sun Sports (Miami) Comcast SportsNet New England (Boston)ABOUT THE HEAT (51-14):
Miami has had a few close calls during the streak but the last two have been cakewalks and the road winning streak is up to 10 games. Dwyane Wade scored 24 points and LeBron James had 22, 12 rebounds and eight assists in the win over the Raptors. The Heat were outrebounded by a remarkable 51-26 margin and were outscored in the paint 62-38. Such statistics matter little when you have shooters and the opponent does not; Miami made 10 of its 22 3-pointers while Toronto was 2-for-20 from long distance. With a win in Boston, the Heat will be 10 shy of matching the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers for the longest winning streak in NBA history.
ABOUT THE CELTICS (36-29):
Garnett's absence mattered little to Boston as it sought, and attained, revenge for an ugly loss in Charlotte on Tuesday. Paul Pierce filled up the stat sheet in just three quarters, collecting 14 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three blocks in 23 minutes as the Celtics won their 11th straight at home. That means there is more than just one streak on the line Monday, and Pierce is confident his team's will remain. "We just feel like this is a building we should never lose in," Pierce said Saturday. "Teams coming to the Garden, they've got to know that this is going to be their toughest game of the year. That's the feeling and the swagger that we're bringing." Boston has also won its last 10 regular-season games at home against Miami.
* Heat are 8-1 ATS in their last nine road games.
* Celtics are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 home games.
* Over is 7-1 in the last eight meetings.
* Under is 4-0 in Heat’s last four road games.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Miami has held a season-high 10 straight opponents under 100 points.
2. The Celtics are 2-0 without Garnett this season, winning by an average of 21 points. He had 24 points and 11 rebounds in the victory over Miami on Jan. 27.
3. James established a new career high Sunday with his 32nd double-double.