MIAMI – They’re expecting 19,600 fans to come see the Miami Heat try to save their season, the overwhelming majority of them sure to be dressed in black at the team’s urging.

And those ticketholders will be booing someone.

Maybe Kevin Garnett, back for Boston after a one-game suspension for elbowing Quentin Richardson.

Maybe Rajon Rondo, who said the Celtics are planning to win twice in Miami and finish off a first-round sweep.

Maybe the Heat themselves, who are down 2-0 in their best-of-seven series after wasting two opportunities in Boston.

Answers will be forthcoming tonight when Miami hosts Boston in Game 3, the Celtics looking to move one win from the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs and the Heat aiming for just one glimmer of hope that could turn this series back their way.

“It’s our turn to come out with a game,” Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra said Thursday. “It starts with just one win. Let’s get this win, whatever it takes, then move on from there. We can’t play both games (tonight), so let’s take care of Game 3.”

No one need remind Miami of how vital Game 3 is, since no team has rallied from an 0-3 deficit in NBA playoff history.

“You’ve got to keep in perspective that a series doesn’t start until a team wins on the other team’s court, so we’ve got to come home and take care of our home court,” Heat guard Dwyane Wade said. “We played well toward the end of the year at home and we should be very confident here. The crowd will be amazing, so we have to use that to get ourselves an edge.”

Confidence won’t be a problem for Boston, either.

The Celtics have beaten Miami in 13 of their last 14 meetings, and in the one loss, neither Garnett nor Rondo played. Both will be in the lineup tonight, and Garnett’s return makes a team that embarrassed the Heat by 29 on Tuesday night stronger.

“Well, I don’t expect any of us to get any cheers down there and I’m no different from that,” said Garnett. “I’m not sitting here saying, you know, the villain or the hero. I could care less. I’ve played on the road before.”


BOSTON FORWARD Rasheed Wallace was fined $35,000 by the NBA for publicly criticizing game officials.


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