MIAMI -- It was a rollercoaster night, which only makes sense during a rollercoaster season.
So, up 26 in the third quarter and then up only eight in that same period.
For the Miami Heat, it seemingly was par for the uneven course these past few months, considering how four days after they found a way to lose to the dreary Atlanta Hawks, the Heat pushed past the Boston Celtics, 115-99, Thursday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Showing the possibilities of a team that in recent weeks also has victories over the Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets, the Heat survived a 13-0 third-quarter Celtics run to move back to .500 at 20-20.
While Kyrie Irving paced the Celtics with 22 points, it was a throwback performance by Dwyane Wade that helped stabilize the Heat, closing with 19 points.
With the Heat continuing to play without a true leading man in their starting lineup, it often comes down to Wade for salvation.
That certainly was the case in the third period, when a Wade 3-pointer ended a 13-0 Celtics run that trimmed that 26-point Heat lead to 13.
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With Wade second to Irving among Eastern Conference guards in the latest release of fan balloting for All-Star Game starters, it certainly didn't hurt to have a showcase night in the rare nationally televised Heat game.
As it is, Thursday (as well as Friday) was designated as one of five dates when fan All-Star votes count double.
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