BOSTON (USATODAY.com) - Walking the fine line between victory and defeat - that's bound to happen during a lengthy winning streak - the Miami Heat survived.
They survived a career-high 43 points from Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green. They survived 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists from Paul Pierce. They survived a riled-up home crowd, anxious to see the Celtics end the Heat's winning streak.
The Heat kept their winning streak intact, extending it to 23 games with a 105-103 victory against the Celtics Monday.
"It means a lot to what we're trying to build - a tough-minded team on the road. It's a hostile environment," Heat All-Star forward LeBron James said. "We grew again tonight, and that's big for our team."
It is the second-longest winning streak in NBA history, behind the 33 wins a row by the 1971-72 Lakers and surpassing the 2007-08 Rockets who won 22 consecutive games. Incidentally, the Celtics ended Houston's winning streak five years ago March 18.
The Heat escaped after trailing by 17 points - their largest deficit during the streak - with great play from James, who had 37 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks, and strong contributions from the cast.
It is the first time the Heat have a won a regular-season game in Boston since April 2007, and Miami also ended Boston's 11-game home winning streak.
"We had to earn that one, no about question about it," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We didn't panic, but we did own it. ... You've got to stay the course. It's a 48-minute game, and you keep grinding away."
Guard Mario Chalmers had 21 points, and guard Dwyane Wade had 16 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals. Center Chris Bosh had 13 points and five rebounds.
"Other guys don't get enough credit, and they deserve it," Wade said. "When they're not shooting the ball well and when they're struggling, a lot of people like to point that out. But when they're playing well, that's the reason we're on this winning streak. ... So even though LeBron had an unbelievable night, we don't win without our bench."
In fact, five Miami players had at least five rebounds, and the Heat outrebounded Boston 39-33.