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Heat edges Celtics for 3-1 lead

Heat forward LeBron James, who scores a game-high 35 and has 14 rebounds, drives past Celtics forward Kevin Garnett in OT.

Associated Press

Heat forward LeBron James, who scores a game-high 35 and has 14 rebounds, drives past Celtics forward Kevin Garnett in OT.

BOSTON — Miami's Big Three was assembled for this purpose: dominate the bullies from Boston who knocked the Heat from the playoffs so many times.

LeBron James scored 35, Dwyane Wade had 28 and Chris Bosh had 20 Monday night to give the Heat a 98-90 overtime win over the Celtics and move Miami within one game of the Eastern Conference final. The Heat leads the best-of-seven series 3-1, with a chance to close out the series Wednesday in Miami.

James, Wade and Bosh had 83 of the Heat's 98 points and 35 of its 45 rebounds. They scored all 12 of the team's points in overtime.

"We're the guys. We're the ones who get all the attention. We're the ones that get all the praise," Wade said. "This team is going to go as far as us three takes it."

Paul Pierce scored 27, Ray Allen had 17 and Kevin Garnett had seven points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics.

Point guard Rajon Rondo, who dislocated his left elbow Saturday, played 39 minutes with a padded sleeve covering what appeared to be a brace on his left arm, scoring 10 with five assists.

The Celtics need to win the next three games — two in Miami — to have a chance to defend their East championship.

"These are those moments. I look forward to it," Allen said. "Everybody on this team, we know what to do."

The Celtics eliminated the Heat last year. In all, Wade had lost 11 straight regular-season and playoff games in Boston. James had lost 13 of 15 games there: "I haven't had much success in this building. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to just come out and do whatever it took."

Meanwhile, James apologized for saying "retarded" in a postgame news conference.

He muttered the word after Game 3 as he and Wade listened to a question about Wade's takedown of Rondo. James had his hand over his mouth when he said "that's retarded" as a reporter asked Wade whether the play was dirty.

Heat 98, Celtics 90 OT

MIAMI (98): James 12-28 9-9 35, Bosh 8-17 4-5 20, Anthony 2-2 0-0 4, Bibby 2-6 0-0 4, Wade 8-18 12-14 28, Chalmers 1-2 0-0 3, Jones 1-1 0-0 2, Ilgauskas 1-1 0-0 2, House 0-1 0-0 0, Miller 0-2 0-0 0, Haslem 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 35-79 25-28 98.

BOSTON (90): Pierce 10-20 6-7 27, Garnett 1-10 5-6 7, J.O'Neal 3-6 2-2 8, Rondo 4-7 2-2 10, Allen 5-12 5-6 17, West 4-7 1-2 10, S.O'Neal 0-0 0-0 0, Green 2-4 2-2 7, Davis 1-4 2-2 4. Totals 30-70 25-29 90.

Miami 28 22 19 17 12— 98

Boston 31 22 20 13 4— 90

3-Point GoalsMiami 3-13 (James 2-6, Chalmers 1-2, Miller 0-2, Bibby 0-3), Boston 5-16 (Allen 2-5, Green 1-2, West 1-3, Pierce 1-6). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsMiami 52 (James 14), Boston 39 (Garnett 10). AssistsMiami 10 (Wade 4), Boston 15 (Rondo 5). Total FoulsMiami 24, Boston 23. TechnicalsHaslem, Miami defensive three second. Flagrant Fouls—J.O'Neal. A18,624 (18,624).

Lakers GM: Jackson really done this time

DALLAS — Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak believes Phil Jackson this time.

Although Jackson hasn't given a definitive answer on whether Sunday's loss to the Mavericks in the Western Conference semifinals was his last game, Kupchak said he believes Jackson's decision to retire is final.

"I think this is it," Kupchak told ESPNLosAngeles. "We'll sit down and talk, but I've gotten no indication that he won't retire.

"We just talked briefly, and I thanked him for what he's done for the organization. It was a pleasure to work with him."

After 11 titles in 20 seasons, Jackson said Sunday that he is finished with coaching.

"All my hopes and aspirations are, this is the final game that I'll coach," said Jackson, 65, who has retired twice before. "This has been a wonderful run."

As for the team's plans to replace Jackson, Kupchak didn't go into detail.

Defensive honors: Magic center Dwight Howard, who has won the past three defensive player of the year awards, received the most points for the all-defensive first team, and Celtics forward Kevin Garnett and Lakers guard Kobe Bryant were selected for a record-tying ninth time — joining former stars Michael Jordan and Gary Payton. Heat forward LeBron James and Celtics guard Rajon Rondo rounded out the first team chosen by the league's coaches. Bulls forward-center Joakim Noah, a former Florida standout, made the second team.

Taking Bulls to task: Guard Derrick Rose wants his top-seeded Bulls to pick it up after their 100-88 loss to the Hawks on Sunday left their East semifinal tied 2-2.

"They just played harder, getting to loose balls, second effort, chasing balls down," Rose said of the Hawks. Game 5 is tonight in Chicago, and another effort like that could put the Bulls on the brink of elimination.

But Rose insisted there's no pressure on them. "If anything, I think that all of us are mad with the effort that we put in the last game. It wasn't good enough."

Hawk healing: Guard Kirk Hinrich said his right hamstring is improving, but Hawks coach Larry Drew doesn't expect him to play against the Bulls in their East semifinal, which is tied 2-2 heading into Game 5 tonight.

Heat edges Celtics for 3-1 lead 05/09/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 12:05am]
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