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The Celtics have seized their late-season opportunity to grab hold of the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 seed. With a 105-98 win over the Heat Friday night, the Celts have won six straight games, and now lead the Magic by two games with three left to play.
Paul Pierce helped ensure the C’s second straight 60-win season with a team-high 28 points to go with eight rebounds. Rajon Rondo also helped out, finishing with a rare double-double that doesn’t include his point total (seven points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists).
Dwyane Wade led the Heat with a game-high 31 points to go with nine assists. He’s had an incredible season and the Heat wouldn’t even be close to the playoffs without him, but it’s likely the MVP award will go to LeBron James or Kobe Bryant, who are both on 60-win teams.
Ray Allen pitched in 21 points (4-8 from 3pt land) and Glen Big Baby Davis 22 points and eight rebounds, starting again for the injured Kevin Garnett. The Celtics have been without KG for 19 of their last 23 games, yet are in line to grab the No. 2 seed.
The Celtics now cannot get the East’s No. 1 seed after the Cavs won Friday night. But, at the No. 2 seed, the first round opponent could be a number of teams including the Pistons, Bulls, or 76ers, so seeding in the first round wont matter. The home court advantage against the Cavs? Yeah, that would have been pretty important considering Cleveland is 38-1 at home this year…
Anyway, the Celtics next face the Cavs in Cleveland Sunday afternoon, which should be a huge test.