The Miami Heat knows what’s coming from the Boston Celtics.
“Their all,” Dwyane Wade said.
That’s what usually happens when one team is fighting to save its season — and in this case, the Big Four era in Boston might be at stake as well.
The Eastern Conference finals shift to Boston tonight for Game 3, with the Heat holding a 2-0 lead after staving off perhaps the Celtics’ best shot to win a classic.
Boston’s core of Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen combined to score 96 points in Game 2, the most they’ve ever scored in a game together, and it still wasn’t enough as the Heat held serve at home with a 115-111 overtime victory.
So now, in a season of challenges for the Celtics, the toughest test yet has arrived. Only 14 teams in NBA history have rallied from an 0-2 hole to win a best-of-seven series, and the Celtics haven’t done it since 1969.
“We still know we have to play better,” Boston coach Doc Rivers said Thursday. “But I think our guys know now that we can play (with Miami).”
There were whispers that the Celtics were finished when they lost seven of eight games to sputter into the All-Star break with a losing record, when they lost their playoff opener to Atlanta, and again when they lost home-court advantage to Philadelphia in the second round.
Trailing Miami with an injured lineup is just the latest installment on that list, which the Heat members say is ridiculous anyway.
“We don’t buy any of that,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “ … This is a championship team. … You get them in a seven-game series with the experience that they have, they’re as tough as anybody.”
JACK TWYMAN, 78, DIES
Basketball Hall of Famer Jack Twyman, one of the NBA’s top scorers in the 1950s who became the guardian to a paralyzed teammate, has died. He was 78.
Twyman died Wednesday at a Cincinnati hospice of complications from an aggressive form of cancer.
Twyman played for the University of Cincinnati and spent 11 seasons in the NBA with the Rochester and Cincinnati Royals.
He averaged a career-high 31.2 points in the 1959-60 season. He played in six All-Star games.
But his greatest assist came in 1958, after teammate Maurice Stokes was paralyzed after a head injury suffered in game. Twyman ignored the ugly racial times to become his guardian and help his African-American teammate receive medical benefits.
HORNETS WANT DAVIS
After a painful wait for a new owner, the search for a new star was a breeze for the New Orleans Hornets.
All it took was a little luck of the draw. And Anthony Davis can’t wait to play as a pro in the city where he won a championship in college.
The Hornets, recently sold by the NBA to Saints owner Tom Benson, won the league’s draft lottery Wednesday and the No. 1 pick overall — which they almost certainly will use to select the consensus college player of the year who led Kentucky to a national title.
Davis could be joined by another key young player, because the Hornets also have the No. 10 pick.