Celtics rout Heat for fifth straight victory
Paul Pierce scored 23 points and Rajon Rondo had his league-leading fifth triple-double as the Boston Celtics mauled the visiting Miami Heat 91-72 to extend its winning streak to five games. Rajon had 16 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds – his 13th consecutive game with double-double assists – as the Celtics won their eighth straight home game and beat the Heat for the eighth time in a row at TD Garden. Brandon Bass had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds as Boston had all five starters score in double figures and moved one game ahead of Philadelphia atop the Atlantic Division. LeBron James scored 23 points to pace Miami, which was limited to its lowest point total of the season and lost for the seventh time in the last 11 away from home. Boston blew the game open in the third quarter, going on a 20-2 tear in a span of under 5 1/2 minutes to build a commanding 72-52 lead. The Celtics outscored the Heat 31-12 in the quarter. Rondo got off to a fast start with 10 points, four rebounds and four assists in staking Boston to a 29-19 lead after the opening quarter. The Heat battled back to tie it briefly before the Celtics took a 49-44 lead into the half, setting up the third-period eruption.