Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 2/6

Game 1: Monday, February 6th
Game 2: Wednesday, March 1st
Game 3: Thursday, March 16th
Game 4: Wednesday, April 19th

Heat 78

(52-30, 21-20 away)

Celtics 85

(33-49, 21-20 home)

    7:30 PM ET, April 19, 2006

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIA 17 29 21 1178
    BOS 24 22 22 1785

    Top Performers

    Mia: D. Wright 20 Pts, 7 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

    Bos: R. Gomes 19 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast

    Celtics close out season with win over Heat

    BOSTON (AP) -- The Miami Heat are ready to chase their first championship.

    The Heat closed the regular season with an 85-78 loss Wednesday night to the Boston Celtics, who snapped a five-game losing streak behind 19 points from Ryan Gomes and 17 from Tony Allen.

    "It's all about mentality," Heat guard Gary Payton said. "We play these teams four or five times a year anyway, so we just need to not do the things that caused us to lose to them in the regular season."

    Miami (52-30) begins its playoff run on Saturday against No. 7 seed Chicago.

    "I am excited. Our preparation begins tomorrow," Heat forward Antoine Walker said. "When I was with Boston, we were just trying to get in the playoffs. Our goal here is to win a championship."

    The Celtics (33-49) also snapped a five-game slide at home and finished with a 21-20 record in Boston.

    "The way the season started, is the way it ended," Gomes said. "Losing close games and turning the ball over made us lose a lot of one-point games."

    After leading 68-67 at the end of three quarters, the Celtics began the fourth period with a 14-0 run to open an 82-67 lead. Miami went 8:48 without a field goal in the fourth quarter until Dorell Wright hit a layup with 3:12 remaining.

    Reserve Orien Greene tied a career high with 14 points for Boston, which missed the playoffs for the first time in five years.

    Wright led Miami with 20 points and Walker chipped in with 14 while Miami shot 32 percent for the game.

    "It is much easier to be the hunter than the hunted," Payton said. "When you are the one not expected to do anything, you play better."

    Payton is making his 14th playoff appearance with his fifth different team.

    Boston averted a four-game season sweep by the Heat and took advantage of the absences of Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade. The Celtics beat Miami for the second time in nine games.

    "Chicago's speed and their pick-and-roll has given Miami trouble in the past," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "At the end of the day though, size will win out and that will favor Miami."

    Miami and Boston combined to shoot 11-for-42 in the first quarter, when the Celtics led 24-17. Walker buried a 3-pointer just before halftime to tie the game at 46.

    Paul Pierce did not play for Boston, but finished the season averaging a career-high 26.8 points per game.

    Game notes

    Heat coach Pat Riley missed his second straight game to be with his ailing mother. ... O'Neal became the sixth player in NBA history to shoot 60 percent or better from the field in back-to-back seasons. Artis Gilmore has the all-time record of six straight years, from 1980-1986. ... The Celtics and Delaware North Companies-Boston announced the Celtics' lease at TD Banknorth Garden has been extended through the 2020-2021 season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 78 85
    FGM-FGA 23-71 (.324) 27-75 (.360)
    3PM-3PA 5-13 (.385) 4-15 (.267)
    FTM-FTA 27-37 (.730) 27-32 (.844)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-42 10-51
    Assists 12 10
    Turnovers 15 16
    Steals 9 10
    Blocks 3 6
    Fast Break Points 8 14
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (0/0) 24 (4/0)
    Largest Lead 5 15

    Top Performers

    Dorell Wright Wright
    Points: 20
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Ryan Gomes Gomes
    Points: 19
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0