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The three biggest newcomers have so far been unspectacular. In their home debuts, Arenas had two points (1 for 6), Turkoglu nine points (2 for 11) and Richardson 10 points (4 for 13).

Staying patient isn’t easy with that kind of output. The problems have only been magnified with Boston beginning Wednesday on a 13-game winning streak and Miami just ending a streak of 12 straight wins.

“We’re just in a tough stretch right now, but it’s December. It can’t get any worse,” Howard said. “One thing I tell the guys is, ‘Don’t get frustrated with what’s going on right now. We all hate losing. But you know, we’ve got to learn from our mistakes and we have to stay together. We can’t allow games we lose to take us off our goal and keep us from each other.’”