Boston Celtics defeat Miami Heat, 100-98

MIAMI—There was no diagramming of a special play in the final Boston huddle, no brilliant piece of strategy.

Paul Pierce demanded the ball.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers agreed.

And with Dwyane Wade watching helplessly from the bench, cramps rendering him unable to put any weight on his left leg, Pierce put Boston one win from a first-round sweep of the Heat.

Pierce dribbled the clock down to 2 seconds, got to his favorite spot just off the right side of the key and...

MIAMI — It is, said Doc Rivers, a “Make-Miss League.’’

And so it came to this, with the score tied at 98: Dwyane Wade missed a straightaway 3-pointer with 13.9 seconds left and Paul Pierce swished a long two that was in the air when the buzzer went off. Boston 100, Miami 98.

The Celtics are now up in this series, three games to none. Simple as that.

Well, not really. This came perilously close to being a catastrophic loss that would have had the Celtics hating the...