A Heated Loss
Miami beats Boston, 120-107, in season-opener
Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 19:10
After much hype and drama, the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat tipped off the NBA regular season in Miami. Despite LeBron James’ absence in the fourth quarter due to leg cramps, the Heat were able to prevail, defeating the Celtics 120-107.
The already heated rivalry between the Celtics and Heat only deepened when Ray Allen took less money to join the Heat this offseason. Ray’s impact off the bench was immediately felt, hitting his signature corner three for the first time with the shot clock expiring. Ray finished with 19 points and was one of the many reasons, why the Celtics were unable to come back.
Ever since Kevin Garnett started wearing a Celtics jersey, Boston has prided itself on defense. That defense was missing last night. The Heat put up an easy 120 points and shot almost 55% from the floor. Obviously with a plethora of new members, the defense will take time but that’s something that definitely needs to be addressed soon.
The C’s inability to close out quarters was the difference maker last night. Boston allowed the Heat to go on an 11-4 run to end the first half and a 12-2 run to end the third. The Celtics were then forced to try and claw their way back from a big deficit, something that is familiar to fans who watched the first half of last season. They just came up short.
However, the Celtics were able to trim a 19 point lead down to just 4 points with two minutes remaining in the game. This run was largely due to Boston clamping down on defense and LeAndro Barbosa giving the C’s a much needed offensive spark off the bench. A last minute acquisition by Danny Ainge, Barbosa came off the bench in the fourth to score 16 points in 16 minutes, highlighted by some clutch threes and lightning quick layups.
This is a very encouraging sign that could possibly make an already deep core of guards even deeper. The run by the Celtics was not enough though and the Heat were able to hit some key free throws down the stretch to take this one despite the late push by Boston.
If the Celtics want to win they are going to need more production from KG, Jason Terry and Jeff Green. They combined for 20 points on 6-19 shooting and their lapses on defense were notable.
When Ray Allen came off the bench, Ray Allen went over to the Celtics bench to shake the coaching staff’s hands and also tapped Garnett on the shoulder. In typical KG fashion, he ignored his former teammate giving him the cold shoulder.
With 18 seconds left in the game and upset at a non-call on Dwyane Wade minutes earlier, Rondo fouled Wade hard going to the basket. This resulted in the first confrontation between both teams, something that is expected to be an intense rivalry down the road. Rondo ended up picking up a flagrant foul.
Wade took exception to the foul. Before restraining himself, Wade looked as if he was going to throw the ball at Rondo. After the game, Wade called it a “punk play” by Rondo and hinted towards retaliation. "If you want to do something else, then go do something else. Boxing, this is not it. I was glad I was able to stop myself in that very moment and move on from it. We'll see next time we play."
NOTES: Paul Pierce was the leading scorer for the Celtics with 23 points... Rondo neared a triple-double finishing with 20 points, 13 assists, and 7 assists... Dwyane Wade led all Heat members with 29 points... In 29 minutes, LeBron had 26 points on 10 of 16 shooting and piled up 10 rebounds.