Locked into the second seed in the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat are expected to rest their stars in preparation for the opening round of the playoffs when they finish their regular season in the nation's capital tonight against the Washington Wizards.
With both teams resting most of their stars on Tuesday, Sasha Pavlovic scored a game-high 16 points to help Boston earn a 78-66 victory over the Heat at TD Garden.
Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett all sat out for the Celtics, while Miami's "Big Three" of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh also enjoyed the game from the sidelines.
Dexter Pittman led the way for Miami with 12 points and James Jones added 11 in the loss, securing the top spot in the East for Chicago.
"I mean we wanted to go out there tonight and continue to build on our execution, our tenacity." remarked Jones. "We made too many turnovers and they capitalized on them, and we did some good things but just not enough so we are locked into the second seed and we are focused on trying to correct some of our mistakes as we move into the playoff."
The Heat will open the postseason against either New York or Philadelphia, which are tied for seventh place with the Knicks owning the tiebreaker. New York closes the season at Charlotte, while the 76ers finish in Detroit.
Washington, meanwhile, has been out of the postseason hunt for weeks but it has done a solid job playing spoiler. The Wizards, who will be shooting for a season-high sixth straight win tonight, have the second-worst record in the NBA behind dismal Charlotte but have beaten three playoff teams over the past few weeks, Orlando, Chicago and the Heat.
The Wizards most recent victory came on Wednesday in Cleveland when John Wall led the way with 21 points, 13 assists, seven rebounds and seven steals as Washington took down the Cavaliers, 96-85.
Nene and Kevin Seraphin chipped in 12 points apiece while James and Chris Singleton each scored 10 for the Wizards, who are in the midst of their longest run since taking six in a row from Nov. 11-21, 2007.
"I got into the lane, I just found some shooters, caught some of our big guys cutting to the basket," Wall said of his assists.
Washington snapped a six-game skid to Miami with an 86-84 win in South Florida on April 21.