Powe, Rondo answer call for Celtics; Heat's Wade, Haslem leave game

MIAMI (AP) -- Ray Allen arrived at halftime, a white sweat jacket over his flu-riddled head, and took a glimpse toward the scoreboard.

He probably felt much better.

Boston's 'Big 3' were almost silent, and the Celtics still put a big beating on the hapless Miami Heat.

Leon Powe scored a career-high 25 points, Rajon Rondo tied a career-high with 23 points and Tony Allen matched a season-best with 20 points as the NBA-best Celtics rolled to a 117-87 victory Tuesday night over the Heat -- who followed the win that snapped their 15-game losing streak with an absolute clunker.

"I'm embarrassed by the effort," Heat coach Pat Riley said.

The Celtics played without Kevin Garnett (strained abdominal muscle) and Ray Allen (flu), and the third member of their star triumvirate, Paul Pierce, was scoreless for most of the first half and finished with only seven points.

Didn't matter.

Boston led by 17 after one quarter, 31 in the second before settling for a 22-point edge at intermission, and when Dwyane Wade checked out for good with 4:41 left in the third quarter the Celtics were up 88-53.

"One of the things that we talked about before the game is that no one before the game is that no one was going to be Ray Allen and no one is going to be Kevin Garnett," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "But all of them could do a little extra."

They were listening.

These numbers -- 51-36 -- told the story. That was Boston's edge in shooting percentage and rebounding. Former Heat guard Eddie House added 20 points for the Celtics, who improved to 35-8.

"We got stops, we shared the ball and guys made plays," said former Heat forward James Posey, as he pulled his 2006 NBA championship ring out of his left pants pocket and fumbled with his specially-made cuff links -- exact replicas of that ring. "If you do that on any team, you can have spurts like that."

Mark Blount scored 20 points for Miami (9-34), which only matched its worst loss of the season, thanks to Earl Barron's jumper with 4.8 seconds remaining. Luke Jackson scored 14 for the Heat.

"It's almost as though the ending of the losing streak pulled the plug," Riley said. "Because we didn't bring anything."

Wade finished with seven points on 1-for-9 shooting, and departed after the third quarter with flu-like symptoms. The Heat lost Udonis Haslem, who was the only Miami player to start all 43 games, with a sprained left ankle in the second quarter.

Haslem left in a protective boot and will not play Wednesday night at Orlando. Wade's status for the game against the Magic won't be known until Wednesday morning.

By the end, there wasn't much booing.

Of course, most who stayed for the final horn donned Celtics green.

With Garnett and Ray Allen out, it seemed like Miami rated a chance of matching its season-high two-game winning streak.

That was the thinking before Miami -- which started this seven-game homestand with a 30-point loss to the Chicago Bulls and ended it with a similar dismal effort -- missed almost every shot it took in the first 12 minutes.

Boston raced out to a 31-14 lead, closing the first quarter on an 17-3 run after Miami shot 3-for-23 -- 13 percent -- in the period. Take Jason Williams' 2-for-3 showing away, and the rest of the Heat shot a robust 5 percent in the first, 1-for-20.

"They, in the first quarter, overwhelmed us with their quickness and their intensity and their play," Riley said. "It was right from the get-go."

And Rondo must have heard Rivers' plea for someone to step up in place of the missing starters. He finished the first with 13 points, 3.7 more than his season per-game average.

"We got off to a great start," Rondo said.

The Celtics' finish wasn't bad, either.

Boston used a 16-2 run in the second quarter to take a 54-25 lead, meaning this game was decided before Pierce scored a single point.

His first basket came with 1:48 left in the half, putting Boston ahead 62-34. His second, and only other, field goal was a 3-pointer with 6:17 left in the third, one that pushed the Celtics' edge to a stunning 83-48.

"If you had told me before the game that Paul, Ray and Kevin would score seven points, I would have said that's not possible to win," Rivers said.

Game notes
Boston is 17-0 in games decided by 13 points or more this season, and moved to 18-1 against teams under .500. The Heat are 1-9 in games decided by 13 or more, and 4-20 against teams with winning records. ... With Garnett -- "The Big Ticket," as he's known -- sidelined, Pierce gave Glen "Big Baby" Davis a new nickname before the game. "He's ticket stub now," Pierce said.