Celtics Quiet Doubters, Defeat Heat in Opener

The Celtics knocked off Miami tonight, winning 88-80 and spoiling the debut of the LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh trio. Ray Allen led Boston with 20 points and went 5-8 from beyond the arc and KG contributed with 10 points and 10 rebounds. However, it was point guard Rajon Rondo who really led the charge recording 17 assists in the NBA season opener.

LBJ scored a game-high 31 points on 10-21 shooting from the field, but Wade and Bosh combined for only 21 points on 7-27 shooting from the field. On a side note, James was booed by the packed crowd at TD Banknorth Garden every time he touched the basketball.

Celtics fans feared it. Heat fans almost expected it. LeBron and company debuted with a massive scoring explosion...or not. The "superteam" sputtered out of the gate and scored a whopping nine points in the first quarter. They really struggled to find an offensive rhythm. Meanwhile, the Celtics seemed comfortable on both ends of the court and led by seven points after the opening frame.

Wade didn't even hit his first field goal until over two minutes into the second quarter. However, Miami was able to come hit some shots, and had 29 points to show for it at halftime. Boston continued its team effort and finished the half up 45-30. Rondo recorded eight dimes in the first half of the season.

The Heat followed that up with 25 more points in the third frame, due to a strong performance by James. He either scored or assisted each of the team's last 14 points of the quarter to pull the team within six points. Boston led 63-57 going into the final period.

The two teams continued to battle through the fourth quarter.. With 4:51 left, Paul Pierce drew a foul on a three-pointer and extended the Boston lead to 11 points. At that point he had scored nine of the C's last 11 points. Miami finally came back to within one possession after James converted on a layup with 83-80 to go. They were unable to get any closer than that thanks to a Ray Allen shot from downtown and a pair of clutch foul shots from Pierce. Boston prevailed with an 88-80 victory.

The Celtics play again tomorrow night, at 7 PM in Cleveland.