CSNNE.com wire reports
MIAMI -- The Heat said it often in this series: The Celtics laid the plan for what Miami needed to ultimately do to become champions.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade said it again when their team eliminated the C's in Game 5 Wednesday night.
"It's a great team," James said of Boston in the on-court celebration. "Like I said, I got the utmost respect for that team. They're the reason why all three of us came together, is because of what they did, that blueprint they had in '08 when Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen all came together."
And the Heat knew that, to get where they wanted to go, they had to go through Boston.
"For us to go through the playoffs without playing Boston wouldn't have been right," said Wade.
"It was a series that all of us wanted, really since training camp," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
James put Miami up for good with a 3-pointer with 2:10 remaining, then added a game-sealing - more aptly, a series-sealing - 3 with 40.4 seconds left.
"They make you fight for everything," James said of the Celtics. "You can never take the foot off the gas. You can never take a second off against that team."
And Wade believes the Celts will be back.
"The Boston Celtics ain't goin' nowhere," said Wade, who later added: "Obviously, this summer, those Hall of Fame guys, that organization's, going to be driven to avenge the defeat. And we wouldn't want it any other way whatsoever . . .
"They're going to continue to drive us, and we're going to continue to drive them."