USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Green played the game of his life for the Celtics but it wasn't quite enough to stop LeBron James and the Heat from extending their winning streak.
If Celtics fans still had any doubts about what kind of player Jeff Green is, those doubts had to have been put to rest after Monday night.
Unfortunately for the Celts, despite Green's career night and an excellent team-wide performance in the absence of Kevin Garnett, the opponent was the Miami Heat, who came in winners of 22 consecutive games. And LeBron James wasn't ready to let that streak end.
James had 37 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks to lead the Heat, who trailed by 17 in the first half and 13 in the fourth quarter, to a 105-103 win, their 23rd straight. James untied the game by burying a 20-footer with 10 seconds left to seal it.
Green had a career high 43 points, 38 in the first three quarters, on an amazing 14-of-21 shooting, and added seven rebounds, four blocks and a couple of steals. It was the highest scoring regular season game from any Celtic since 2007, the highest scoring game against the Heat all year and the first 40-point, regular season game by a Celtic other than Paul Pierce since Antoine Walker in 2001. But when he was rested for four minutes in the fourth, the Heat went on an 18-4 run to seize the momentum and he Celtics couldn't recover.
Pierce had 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists while Courtney Lee added 13 points and Jason Terry nine off the bench for the C's who nearly pulled it out despite KG sitting out his second straight game, this one because of the flu.
The Celtics, who were excellent on defense most of the game and played with tremendous energy throughout, missed nine of their 24 free throw attempts. They also got looks right at the rim on two of their last three possessions but couldn't finish either of them.
It was another playoff-esque game from these two teams, who comprise the best rivalry in the NBA at the moment. For more on this one from the Heat perspective, hit up Hot Hot Hoops.