LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Dwyane Wade came off the bench to score 19 points and Justise Winslow had 13 points and a career-high 11 assists as the Miami Heat hammered the Boston Celtics, 115-99, on Thursday.
The Heat, who led by as many as 26 points, used a balanced attack to beat the Celtics as a half dozen players scored in double figures in front of a crowd of 19,600 — their 400th straight sellout at Miami’s American Airlines Arena.
Minus a bona fide superstar, the Heat are getting consistent performances from a cast of hardworking youngsters and crafty veterans like Wade, who has been demoted to bench duty in his final NBA season.
”We had a comfortable lead, but you know they are going to make a run,” the 36-year-old Wade said. ”I got a couple of shots to fall.”
Wade turned back the clock against the Celtics on Thursday, shooting eight-of-12 from the floor and three-of-five from the beyond the arc. The Heat drained almost 50 percent of their threes, making a season-high 18.
”We are starting to figure out how to win against good teams on our home floor,” Wade said.
Josh Richardson tallied 18 points and Derrick Jones scored 14 for the Heat, who ended a two-game skid and improved to 20-20 on the season.
Point guard Kyrie Irving scored a team-high 22 points and Marcus Smart had 18 for the Celtics, who had their four-game win streak snapped. The loss came 24 hours after Boston scored a season-high 135 points in a win over Indiana.
Heat guard Dion Waiters, who returned earlier this month from ankle surgery which caused him to miss 32 games, finished with eight points.
Miami played without all-star guard Goran Dragic, who is sidelined after having knee surgery.