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Wade drops 32 as Heat outlast Celtics

Mar 12, 2009 - 5:47 AM MIAMI (Ticker) -- Dwyane Wade scored 32 points to lead six players in double figures as the Miami Heat took advantage of a depleted Boston Celtics squad, 107-99, on Wednesday.

Wade added seven assists and four steals and Jamario Moon chipped in 13 points and eight rebounds for the Heat, who have won four of five.

"You look at our schedule and know that we are going to be on the road for a while, and we are going to have to play awesome to get some wins out there," Wade said. "Right now, when we are at home, we have to protect home court by any means necessary."

Ray Allen scored 27 points to lead the Celtics, who were missing five players due to injury.

"They still had Paul Pierce and Ray Allen and that's more than a lot of teams have, just them two on one squad," Wade said. "They played very tough and anytime you beat that team, it is a great win to have."

With Kevin Garnett (knee), Tony Allen (thumb) and Brian Scalabrine (concussion) dealing with long-term ailments, Rajon Rondo and Glen Davis both suffered ankle sprains over the weekend and did not travel with the team. That forced Boston to give extended minutes to seldom-used players Bill Walker and Gabe Pruitt while Stephon Marbury and Leon Powe moved into the starting lineup.

"Obviously, they were missing some pieces, but still it's a gutsy win for for us," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. "It's tough to close out against a team that can really defend."

"It was a battle," Powe said. "It was tough. I haven't played that many minutes in a while."

Wade took advantage of the Celtics' inexperienced backcourt, slicing his way into the lane at will and getting to the foul line, where he connected on 13-of-16 attempts.

"This team is very aggressive and I was getting banged up pretty good, but I kept battling back and I have a day off to rest," Wade said.

Boston held a 55-50 lead at the half due mainly to Allen going 9-of-11 from the floor and cruising into the break with 24 points.

Miami came out on fire in the third quarter, scoring 11 unanswered points to start the period and grabbing an 82-73 lead heading to the fourth. Moon had nine points and Wade added eight during the third.

"We didn't create offensively early in the second half," Allen said. "We were all over the place. We had good looks. We played good basketball. The ball didn't move as much in the second half."

The Celtics got within 96-95 on Eddie House's 3-pointer with 3:57 left, but Wade countered with a jumper and Jermaine O'Neal scored four points down the stretch to help Miami pull away.

Powe finished with 23 points and Paul Pierce added 16 for Boston, which has dropped back-to-back games for the first time since a four-game slide from January 4-9.

"I thought we had our opportunities," Pierce said. "We just had a bad quarter in the third quarter. We dug ourselves a hole. We have to understand that we are a defensive team first. That is how we win games."