Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh walks back to his seat...

Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh walks back to his seat on the bench after a timeout in the second quarter of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics at American Airlines Arena in Miami. (May 28, 2012) Credit: MCT

BOSTON -- The Heat is back in Miami, and Chris Bosh might be back for Game 5 Tuesday night. But unless LeBron James and Dwyane Wade can play well together -- and make clutch plays down the stretch -- Miami could be back in Boston on Thursday facing playoff elimination.

The Celtics have proved in the Eastern Conference finals that they're not as over-the-hill as they've been portrayed.

They won Games 3 and 4 in Boston to tie the series at 2. The Celtics led by at least 15 points in each of the last three games and could be up 3-1 if they hadn't squandered a 15-point cushion and lost Game 2 in overtime in Miami.

Boston gave up an 18-point lead in Game 4 but held on to win, 93-91, after James passed up a shot on the final play of regulation and Wade missed a three-pointer at the buzzer in overtime.

"I just think they're playing hard and great because they believe they can win," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said of his team.

The Celtics have exploited some Heat weaknesses, starting at point guard.

Rajon Rondo has shredded Miami's defense with his ability to penetrate and see the floor. He's averaging 24.0 points and 10.5 assists in the series, including 26.7 and 11.7 in the last three games.

Kevin Garnett's size and length have hurt the Heat on both ends, especially with Bosh sidelined with a lower abdominal strain. Garnett is producing 20.5 points and 10.8 rebounds and Boston has outscored Miami by 20 points with Garnett on the floor.

The Heat could get a boost if Bosh returns. Coach Erik Spoelstra said Bosh, who has missed the last nine games, is "making significant progress." Spoelstra added that "it's premature to say he will definitely play," but Bosh has been upgraded from out indefinitely to day-to-day.

The Heat still needs James and Wade to play better at critical times. James had seven turnovers in Game 4 and fouled out with 1:51 left in overtime. Wade shot only 16-for-44 (36.4 percent) and totaled 38 points in the two games in Boston.

The Celtics have had something to do with the two stars' struggles, though.

"This team is very close, they're very competitive," Rivers said. "Early on when we were losing, people got conditioning mixed up with age. They kept looking at our team and kept saying we're too old and I kept saying, no, we're out of shape. Let's find out how good we are later. I know it's a team and we can play with anybody."

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