Presence of streak intensifies Heat-Celtics rivalry
Several of the upcoming dates on the Miami Heat's schedule were considered "trap" games because of playing against bottom-feeder teams. This isn't one of them. Expect the Heat to have no problem finding motivation to face the rival Boston Celtics Monday at TD Garden Arena. The Celtics are the toughest challenge for the Heat since the streak became more than just stringing together a couple wins. "If there's any group that would be motivated in a circumstance like this, it's that team in green," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "So it's another challenger for us. I'm sure it will be a great environment. Our guys love playing in that environment. It's also a game that we'd like to play better there." The Heat are just 2-8 (postseason included) on the road against the Celtics since 2010, the first year LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined the team. They lost the previous meeting against the Celtics in Boston in double-overtime Jan. 27. "It's a tough place to play," guard Dwyane Wade said. "They play very well versus us, but they've been playing very well of late. It's a challenge. I think we'll be ready for it. … I know we're going to have a dogfight on our hands. Obviously, we're a better team now than when we went up there earlier in the year." The Celtics, who are already without guard Rajon Rondo, may not have center Kevin Garnett. Coach Doc Rivers said Garnett is a game-time decision because of a sore hip. Rondo is out for the season after having knee surgery before the All-Star Break.
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