Miami When Dwyane Wade missed a pair of games earlier this season with a sore ankle, Shaquille O'Neal vowed to pick up the slack.
With O'Neal sidelined Tuesday night because of a bruised calf, Wade returned the favor.
Wade had 33 points and 11 assists, and Miami also got an 18-point, 17-rebound performance from Udonis Haslem in its 108-100 victory over the Boston Celtics - a victory that extended the Heat's season-best winning streak to nine games and improved their Eastern Conference-leading record to 20-7.
"I came in this morning, found out he wasn't playing and he said 'Flash, I need you.' And I said, 'All right,'" said Wade, who shot 11-of-20 from the field. "That's the kind of relationship we've got. That's the kind of team we have."
O'Neal missed his first game of the season because of the bruise, sustained in Sunday's win over Orlando. Haslem carried the inside load in his absence, playing every minute of the second half and tying his career high in rebounds.
At one point in the fourth quarter, Heat assistant coach Ron Rothstein implored head coach Stan Van Gundy to take Haslem out for a rest.
Van Gundy said he responded with an expletive.
"He's young. He'll play the whole game," Van Gundy said. "And that's what he did."
Eddie Jones added 17 points, and Damon Jones scored 12 for Miami, which has won all 15 games this season in which it eclipsed 100 points.
Paul Pierce had 25 points for Boston (11-13), which missed a chance to reach .500 for the first time this season.
"We let Dwyane Wade dictate the game to us, and that's not how it is supposed to be," Celtics guard Gary Payton said. "He did whatever he wanted. He beat us by himself."
Haslem had six points in a 14-5 run that put Miami ahead 101-90 with 5:21 left, a run helped by Boston missing six of its seven field-goal attempts in a six-minute span.
Boston got within nine on Tony Allen's layup with 4:01 left, but on Miami's next trip, Damon Jones hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game to push the margin back to 106-94 and help seal the win.
Miami led 87-81 after three quarters, closing that period with an 11-4 run over the final 4:20. Wade had five points in the burst, which included a scary moment that led to the ejection of Boston guard Ricky Davis.
Wade stole the ball from Payton and drove downcourt, while Davis charged down the opposite wing. As Wade leaped toward the rim, Davis committed a hard foul - sending Wade crashing to the court and prompting officials to call a Category 2 flagrant foul against Davis.
"Ricky Davis just got thrown out of the game because his name is Ricky Davis," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "That's the way I saw it."
Wade - who'd taken a charge against Davis less than two minutes earlier - stayed down for a few moments after the hit, but remained in the game. Davis said he was merely trying to make "a hustle play."
Al Jefferson scored 15 points, while Davis, Payton and Mark Blount all scored 12 for Boston.
Miami made nine of 11 shots in the game's opening 6:20 - bolstered by a 4-for-4 start by Eddie Jones - yet only managed to build a 23-19 lead. Pierce had all 13 of his first-half points in a seven-minute stretch of the first quarter, which ended with the teams knotted at 33.
Boston led 60-59 after a first half that included 16 ties and seven lead changes. The Celtics shot 55 percent in the opening half, compared to 51 percent by Miami.
Notes: Boston also scored 60 first-half points in a 106-104 loss at Miami on Nov. 28. O'Neal was 9-for-9 and scored 21 points in that game. ... The game was Miami's 27th, tying Toronto and Memphis for the most in the NBA this season. ... Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez, who helped Florida win the 2003 World Series, was at the game - and roundly booed when his image appeared on the video board. ... Michael Doleac replaced O'Neal in the starting lineup, his first start since March 28, 2002, for Cleveland against Utah. ... Boston's Raef LaFrentz left in the second half with a sprained left ankle. He finished with 10 points.