Eddie House scored 20 points — more than he'd managed in any game this season — in the second quarter, finishing with 25 and the Boston Celtics ran their winning streak to six games by downing the Miami Heat 98-83 on Wednesday night.
Ray Allen scored a game-high 27 for the Celtics, who were a season-high 15-for-25 from 3-point range. It matched the most 3's ever allowed by the Heat in their 21 seasons. Kevin Garnett had 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Paul Pierce added 14 points for Boston.
Dwyane Wade accepted his NBA player of the month award for December at halftime, under less-than-ideal circumstances — his team trailed 57-34. Wade finished with 25 points, Daequan Cook scored 20 and Michael Beasley added 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Heat (22-19).
Boston never trailed, running out to a 29-10 lead after one quarter and maintaining a double-digit lead the rest of the way. The Celtics (35-9) visit Orlando (33-8) on Thursday in a matchup of two of the league's top teams.
Miami got within 11 twice in the latter stages of the third quarter, only to have House — a former Miami guard — shoot the Heat back each time. House dribbled his way free for a 20-foot jumper near the top of the key, then took a pass from Pierce for a 3-pointer that gave Boston a 78-64 lead entering the fourth.
House essentially finished what Allen started.
Allen — who attended the inauguration of President Barack Obama on Tuesday, spending more than an hour walking to his seat in the wintry air — showed no signs of fatigue. He made his first three shots, including a pair of 3-pointers, to stake Boston to a quick 11-2 lead.
From there, the defending NBA champs were off and running.
Miami got within 11 once in the fourth quarter as well, only to see that snuffed out by an 8-0 run by Boston. Garnett hit a jumper, Allen then made consecutive 3-pointers, and the building quickly emptied during a time-out with 3:56 left and Boston up 95-76.
For good measure, Allen made another 3 — his fifth of the night — on Boston's next possession.
The first quarter was one to forget for the Heat, who finished with a season-low 10 points after the opening 12 minutes, digging a 19-point hole.
Shawn Marion, who was limited to eight minutes — he took treatment for a sore left groin throughout the day but wound up starting — missed an easy dunk, perhaps the ultimate lowlight for Miami.
The Celtics also outrebounded Miami 18-5 in the first quarter, finishing the game with an 48-30 margin.
There was fleeting hope for Miami midway through the second quarter, when Wade's dunk off a fast break drew the Heat within 41-29 with 5:54 left in the half.
That's when House took over, sparking a 16-5 run by the Celtics.
He hit four 3-pointers in a span of 4:04, chatting with anyone in his general vicinity after the last two. Meanwhile, Miami missed eight of its final 10 shots of the half.
This program aired on January 22, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.