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NBA -- Deng, Heat deliver at home against Celtics, 100-84


PhilBoxing.com




MIAMI- The Miami Heat entered Sunday night having lost 8 of their last 9 home games at American Airlines Arena. Their last home win was against the Charlotte Hornets last November 23rd.

The Heat were slated to play without the services of Dwyane Wade ( knee contusion), Chris Bosh (calf) and Josh McRoberts ( knee) and another visiting team were in town ready to add woes to their misery.

Good thing it was the 10-14 Boston Celtics.

The Celtics, who just traded their long-term point guard Rajon Rondo to the Mavericks last week, looked lost without their their former floor general as Miami capitalized on Boston's 15 turnovers en route to a 100-84 victory.

With two of its stars out , Loul Deng stepped up big time and delivered 16 of his game-high 23 points in the second half. Mario Chalmers assumed the role of a facilitator and finished with a double-double, 11 points and 10 assists for the game.

"We needed a home win bad," Mario Chalmers spoke to reporters after game. "Everybody stepped up. I think we had six people in double-digits tonight. That's what we need from everybody, each and every game."

James Ennis and and Udonis Haslem chipped in a combined 26 points off the bench of Miami which had 6 players in double figures.

"Now it's like, `This is what it is, this is what our season is," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said on his post-game conference . "Let's focus on the guys who are available and not feel sorry for ourselves. I like seeing that our guys are coming together."

The Heat dealt the Celtics only its second loss in five games. The Celtics struggled all night shooting just 39.8 percent from the field. Center Tyler Zeller led Boston with 22 points and 8 rebounds. Jeff Green and Kelly Olynyk added with 13 points apiece.

Boston dropped its record to 10-15 while Miami has improved to 13-15 and remained in 7th place in the East.

Photo: Luol Deng poured 23 points on the Celtics to lead the Heat to a 100-84 victory at the American Airlines Arena.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Kirk Coyoca.


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