Up three-games-to-none on the Heat, Boston has a chance to close out the series in Miami with about a week of rest as the incentive. The Celtics haven't swept a seven-game series since brushed up the Milwaukee Bucks in 1986.
Finishing it off in four is important, the Celtics say, but the sky won't fall if they don't.
"I think it would be great for our confidence," said Kendrick Perkins. "Other than that, it don’t matter how we win the series as long as we win it. To close the series out [today] would be great. "
At this point, with no NBA team having recovered from a three-game deficit, the Heat are trying to do everything to get up for this game. Even if it means quoting -- or misquoting -- Star Trek.
So, with the Heat facing out-of-this-world odds to make history, forward Michael Beasley used a Star Trek reference to relay his point after practice Saturday.
"Let's boldly go where no one ever . . . how's that line go?'' Beasley said, searching for the epic line from the sci-fi show before someone else in the room completed it for him.
"Yeah, let's do that.''
Forgive Beasley, 21, for not knowing the line. The original Star Trek show was canceled some 20 years before the second-year forward was born.
But with the Heat facing elimination entering Game 4 against the Celtics on Sunday at American Airlines Arena, Beasley has a complete grasp of the history Miami has a slim chance to make.
That process, as overwhelming as it appears, begins with a win for the Heat to avoid being swept in the first round for the second time in three years.
"I've seen the statistics,'' Beasley said. "Why not try to be first? You got to be first in something. It's going to be hard, definitely. If there's any team in the NBA that can win four straight, we can do it.''