Paul Pierce hit a go-ahead jumper with 31 seconds left and the Boston Celtics beat the Miami Heat 100-98 in double overtime Sunday after learning that All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.
Rondo will have surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. He was hurt late in Boston’s 123-112 loss, also in two overtimes, to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.
This game was the first in Boston for Ray Allen since he left the Celtics after five seasons and signed as a free agent with Miami. He scored 21 points.
Kevin Garnett had 24 points and 11 rebounds, and Pierce added 17 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for the Celtics, who ended a six-game losing streak, their longest in six seasons. LeBron James had 34 points for the Heat, whose winning streak stopped at four.
Pierce’s basket gave the Celtics a 99-98 lead. James had a chance to put the Heat ahead but missed a 12-foot jumper with 6.8 seconds to go from the left with defender Jeff Green jumping out at him. Pierce got the rebound and was fouled by Shane Battier.
He sank the first shot. Then, as a fan shouted ”This one’s for Rondo,” he missed the second.
Miami had one last chance, but Battier missed a long jumper at the buzzer.
The Heat also could have won in the first overtime, but Dwyane Wade, who had 17 points, also missed a long jumper as the buzzer sounded. They had led 93-89 after consecutive baskets by James, but Garnett hit a layup with 1:45 remaining and a shot from the right baseline with 1:14 to go.
– Reported by Howard Ulman of the Associated Press