MIAMI (AP) - Behind Boston much of the season. Behind Boston much of the game. No more.
Not only has the Miami Heat caught the Celtics - they have officially gone past them, and into the Eastern Conference finals.
Vanquishing the team they couldn't beat for so long with a 16-0 run to end the game, Dwyane Wade scored 34 points, LeBron James put the Heat up for good with a three-pointer with 2:10 left on the way to a 33-point effort, and Miami topped Boston 97-87 to win their NBA Eastern Conference semifinal series Wednesday night in five games.
James added a game-sealing - more aptly, a series-sealing - three-pointer with 40.4 seconds left, then turned and posed for some fans who screamed in delight.
A steal and two-handed slam six seconds later for good measure, followed by a Celtics turnover, got the party started. It was over, the Heat and Celtics knew it, and Boston coach Doc Rivers stood silently near the bench, his arms folded across his chest as James ran down the clock on Miami's final offensive possession of the series. Of course, he scored.
Boston was done, thoroughly worn down by a younger, more athletic opponent. The Celtics won the first three meetings between the clubs this season, then lost five of the final six.
This is Wade stayed in Miami, why James and Chris Bosh came to Miami, to chase a championship.
Next up for Miami: Either Chicago or Atlanta, in a series that may start as early as Sunday. Chicago leads the series 3-2.