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Celtics Sit 4 Starters, Lose to Wizards
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Boston Celtics didn't play four of their usual starters, essentially setting aside their bid for a better playoff seed for the chance to give their top players some rest, and the result was a 95-94 overtime loss to the Washington Wizards on Monday night that handed the Miami Heat the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference.

With Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo watching from the bench, Celtics coach Doc Rivers made it clear that a fresh crew ready for the postseason was more important that using up energy to try to climb one rung in the standings in the season's final days.

Boston's loss, combined with Miami's 98-90 win over Atlanta, guaranteed the Heat will finish second and the Celtics will place third.

John Wall had 24 points, nine rebounds and three assists to lead the lottery-bound Wizards in their home finale.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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