Heat set for home matchup with Celtics

Time for a little R&R for the Miami Heat as they get ready to host the Boston Celtics on the shores of Biscayne Bay.

In fact, it's all about rest and relaxation these days for the reigning NBA champions as they prepare to defend their title come playoff time.

The Heat took care of business on Wednesday in the nation's capital without the Big Three, halting Washington's nine-game home winning streak with a 103-98 win.

Ray Allen scored 23 points in that one as LeBron James (hamstring), Dwyane Wade (ankle) and Chris Bosh (knee) sat with various aches and pains.

Miami, though, was still able to hold its own and take the victory, its 62nd of the season, breaking the franchise's single-season record set in 1996-97. In addition, the Heat also clinched the best record in the NBA and home-court advantage throughout the entire NBA Playoffs.

Rashard Lewis scored 17 points, Shane Battier added 15 points and Mike Miller had 14 points and eight rebounds for Miami against the Wizards, who were looking to win their 10th straight game at home for the first time since Dec. 13, 2006 - Jan 20, 2007.

"Between the streak (Miami's impressive 27-game run earlier this season) and now this, if we do our job it will be something nice to look back on," said Miller.

Boston is also playoff bound and is currently the seventh seed in the East, 2 1/2 games behind Atlanta and three clear of eighth place Milwaukee with four games to play.

The Celtics, who are trying to avoid a perilous first round matchup with the Heat, just split wins and losses on a four-game homestand, ending it with a 101-93 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.

Paul Pierce hit 7-of-11 shots from the floor to finish with a game-high 23 points for Boston in the setback.

In his second game back after missing eight games due to injury, Kevin Garnett dropped in 11 points to go with eight rebounds and four assists. Jeff Green also tallied 11 points but managed to connect on just 4-of-17 attempts from the floor, while Brandon Bass added 10 points.

"I think we're focusing too much on the playoffs, and that's not here yet," Garnett said.

The Heat list James and Bosh as day-to-day but neither is expected to play tonight. Wade, though, should be back for at least limited minutes after missing six straight with ankle and knee problems. Meanwhile, Pierce and Garnett are likely going to be held out by Boston coach Doc Rivers due to lingering ankle issues.

Miami, which has knocked the Celtics out of the playoffs in the previous two seasons, has won two of three from the C's in 2012-13.