Bloomberg News

Heat Rout Celtics 98-79 to Avoid Elimination in NBA Playoffs

June 08, 2012

Heat Rout Celtics 98-79 to Avoid Elimination in NBA Playoffs

LeBron James scored 30 first-half points as the Heat led 55-42 at the intermission at TD Garden in Boston last night. Photographer: Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

LeBron James scored 45 points and had 15 rebounds as the Miami Heat handed the Boston Celtics a 98-79 home drubbing to force a decisive seventh game in the National Basketball Association Eastern Conference finals.

The series will conclude tomorrow in Miami, with the winner advancing to face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals.

“We’re not going to celebrate this win, we had to win this game,” James said in a televised interview. “The series is a one-game series now and it’s in our building.”

James scored 30 first-half points as the Heat led 55-42 at the intermission at TD Garden in Boston last night. James’s layup with seven minutes, 15 seconds remaining in the game gave Miami its largest lead at 89-64.

“I was glad to get this win and force a Game 7,” James said. “I just do what I’ve been taught -- to play at a high level and have fun at it.”

Dwyane Wade scored 17 points and Chris Bosh added seven points in 28 minutes for the Heat. It was Bosh’s second game back after missing nine playoff contests with a strained lower abdominal muscle.

“Whatever I needed to do on this floor, I tried to be there,” James said.

Rajon Rondo led the Celtics with 21 points and 10 assists, while Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett each added 12 points for Boston, which converted one of 14 3-point attempts. The Heat went 7-of-16 on 3-pointers to end a run of three straight defeats in the series.

The Thunder will host the first two games in the NBA Finals, on June 12 and 14.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at nkercheval@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net


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