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Big 3 battle? Not yet, with Wade and James rolling
The numbers show they’ve been individual matchup nightmares.
Putting them together, well, the Celtics haven’t figured out how to handle that yet. They’re running out of time.
Wade is averaging 33 points so far in Miami’s Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Celtics, James is averaging 28.5, and those simply are the two biggest reasons why the Heat are out to a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven. And even the Celtics are tipping their caps to Wade and James at this point.
It’s been one-sided so far.
Wade and James have scored more points (123) than Pierce, Garnett, Allen and Rajon Rondo (114) in the first two games of these East semis combined _ and remember, that doesn’t even take into account the 24 points and 23 rebounds put up by Bosh so far in the series.
“At this time of the year, you’ve got to do whatever it takes, honestly,” said James, who has 405 points in his postseason career against Boston. “Like D-Wade, when you’re a competitor, you know you’re going to have to play both sides of the floor. There’s no easy way out in the playoffs. There’s no matchups out there where you can just have a rest.”
Their rest came Wednesday, when Heat coach Erik Spoelstra gave Miami the day off. On Thursday, it was back to work.
“We’re asking quite a bit of them,” Spoelstra said.
In Game 2, Wade and James had one of their best combined nights of the season. James scored 35 points, Wade had 28, and both had highlight-reel moments. Wade sidestepped a badly guessing Garnett for a layup and then faked his way clear of a falling-down Allen for a 3-pointer late in the first half. James spun past Rondo for a dunk, then twisted on the rim after another slam in the second half.
“They’ve proven that they do this,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “They’re going to get points and I believed that going into this series. But they can’t be so efficient getting them and that’s on us. We have to do a better job of shrinking the floor. There’s things we can do. There’s things we have to do.”
Wade is 7 for 7 against the Celtics _ as in, seven playoff games against them, seven games of at least 25 points. Starting with last season’s first round matchup, Wade is averaging 33.1 points in the postseason against Boston.
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