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Heat overcome Rondo, Celtics to take 2-0 lead

The biggest postseason comeback in Miami Heat franchise history wasn't enough.

The Heat needed more -- and got it, digging deep to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

LeBron James scored 34 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Dwyane Wade scored 23 and the Heat rallied from 15 down to beat the Boston Celtics, 115-111, in overtime on Wednesday night.

Mario Chalmers scored 22 for the Heat, who won despite an unbelievable night by Rajon Rondo. The Celtics' guard played all 53 minutes and scored 44 points, dished out 10 assists and grabbed eight rebounds.

Paul Pierce scored 21 points, Kevin Garnett added 18 and Ray Allen 13 for Boston.

Allen's three-pointer with 34.3 seconds left tied the game at 99-all. James missed two shots, first a layup -- he got the rebound of his own miss -- and then a jumper on the final possession of regulation, and to overtime they went.

Game Three is Friday in Boston.

The Heat had come back from 14 points down in playoff games twice before, first in Game Six of the 2006 NBA finals -- their title clincher -- and again last season against Philadelphia.

And this one was slipping away, more than once. James also two free throws 21 seconds into overtime, and Miami looked in trouble.

The scoring dossier in overtime began like this: Rondo scored, Heat tied it, Rondo scored, Heat tied it, Rondo scored, Heat tied it.

When Rondo missed a layup with 1:33 left, Miami took advantage, with Udonis Haslem getting a dunk to put the Heat up 105-103. And after a turnover on the next Boston possession, Wade drove the lane, hit the deck and watched as his layup bounced on the rim and dropped through.

Garnett stood over Wade and glared, to no avail. Wade hit the free throw, and Miami was up 110-105 with 59.7 seconds left.

On a night where the Heat missed 16 free throws -- including at least four by James in crucial situations -- they would survive.

Miami was down by 15 in the first half and by as many as 11 in the third quarter, before a pair of three-pointers by James started a comeback. Wade made consecutive jumpers midway through the third to shake off a slow start to his night and get the Heat within three both times, and the 2006 NBA finals MVP set up Haslem for a three-point play with 2:55 left that gave Miami its first lead since the opening minutes, 73-71.

Miami's lead got to as much as seven in the third after James blocked Pierce's shot near the rim, sending the ball high into the air and starting a sequence that was capped by a three-point play from Wade, pushing the margin to 78-71. It capped a 12-0 run for the Heat, who took an 81-75 lead into the fourth.

It was the fifth straight game where Miami outscored its opponent by double-digits in the third quarter. In each of the previous four of those outings, Miami never trailed in the final period.


Thunder need to get ugly

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Gregg Popovich implored his San Antonio Spurs to get nasty to take control of the Western Conference finals.

The Oklahoma City Thunder may just have to get ugly if they hope to make it a series.

The Thunder have struggled to corral a San Antonio offense that is clicking on all cylinders during a 20-game winning streak, the longest any NBA team has been able to maintain into the playoffs.

Oklahoma City is in an 0-2 hole as the series shifts to the Chesapeake Energy Arena for Game Three tonight (9 p.m., TNT). Maybe -- just maybe -- the Thunder found something that works while trying to rally from a 22-point, third-quarter deficit in Game Two.

They toughened up, turned it into a more physical contest and the NBA's best free-throw shooting team had both teams marching to the foul line.

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