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Sunday, April 10, 2011
Game 80: Celtics vs. Heat

By Greg Payne

(55-24, 23-16 away)     -- vs. --     (55-24, 29-11 home)
at American Airlines Arena, Miami, Fla., 3:30 p.m. | ABC, WEEI (850 AM)

Somehow, after 79 games, nothing between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat has been decided.

Boston, 55-24. Miami, 55-24. Tied for the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference, one team will take a stranglehold on the race for home-court through at least the first two playoff rounds on Sunday when the Celtics and Heat meet in Miami. Boston is 3-0 in the season-series between the clubs, and has won 18 of its last 20 games against the Heat since April 2007.

But if Miami finds a way on Sunday, that Celtic dominance may be temporarily forgotten.

"Let's toss the ball up and play," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Saturday. "We think we're a different team than the last three times we've played them, but until we prove it in between the lines, it doesn't matter."

The Heat are understandably thrilled that Game 4 of the regular-season series is in Miami. That won't be the case if Game 4 of a potential Heat-Celtics postseason series is also in Miami.

The No. 1 seed in the East has been locked up by the Chicago Bulls, and in some order, seeds 2 and 3 will go to Miami and Boston. So that means the Heat and Celtics will be slotted to meet in the East semifinals -- where Games 1, 2, 5 and 7 would be hosted by the higher seed.

Read the full preview HERE.