Miami, FL – Paul Pierce scored 27 points, Kevin Garnett had 24 and the Boston Celtics beat the Miami Heat for the second time in 10 days with a 115-107 win on Tuesday night.
Rajon Rondo added 18 points and 15 assists for the Celtics, who led by as many as 18 points in the first half and improved to 18-7 since the All-Star break with their third straight win.
Boston shot over 60 percent for the game and better than 61 percent in three of the four quarters, including 66.7 percent in the fourth.
LeBron James scored 36 points, Dwyane Wade had 20 and Chris Bosh chipped in 13 but Miami never led after the first quarter and lost two of its last three on a five-game homestand after winning 17 in a row in their building.
The Heat, with a playoff berth already clinched, got four straight points from Wade at the end of a 7-0 burst in the fourth quarter that pulled them within 108-103.
But Garnett knocked down a mid-range jumper at the other end to push Boston's lead to seven and it would only get as low as five once more in the last two minutes.
James pulled up for a three-pointer on the high right side that could have cut the deficit to three in the final minute, but missed.
The Celtics have taken hold of the Atlantic Division with their second-half push, which included a 91-72 win over Miami at home on April 1. The teams will play again in Boston on April 24.
Garnett scored four points during a 10-0 run in the first quarter that gave the Celtics the lead after a hot Miami start. Pierce and Brandon Bass scored six points apiece and Boston shot better than 61 percent in the quarter to take a 33-22 lead.
The Celtics pushed their lead as high as 18 points twice in the second quarter but Wade led a 13-3 run that pulled the Heat within eight points and it was still eight at halftime, with Boston taking a 65-57 lead into the break.
The Celtics led throughout the second half and had an 89-81 advantage going into the fourth quarter.
The Celtics are back home to play Atlanta on Wednesday night...Miami had its 17-game home winning streak snapped in a 97-82 loss to Memphis on Friday, but bounced back with a 98-75 victory over Detroit on Sunday. The Heat will play the Eastern Conference-leading Bulls in Chicago on Thursday.