First impressions: Celtics 112, Heat 107
November, 11, 2010
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
AP Photo/Wilfredo LeeDwyane Wade meets Paul Pierce's elbow during Thursday's tilt.MIAMI -- First impressions after the Boston Celtics defeated the Miami Heat 112-107 Thursday night at the American Airlines Arena:
HOW THE GAME WAS WON
Ray Allen poured in a game-high 35 points, connecting on 13 of 23 shots overall, including 7 of 9 trifectas, over 41 minutes as Boston put up big numbers against the Heat's vaunted defense. Paul pierce added 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting, while Kevin Garnett chipped in a double-double (16 points, 13 rebounds). LeBron James also scored 35 points to pace Miami.
The Heat chipped away at a 20-point deficit, rallying within seven with little more than four minutes to play. Coming out of a timeout, Pierce made a 15-foot jumper and Allen added a layup in traffic soon after to push the lead back to double digits and essentially put the game out of reach.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Celtics put together a dazzling first half, shooting 60 percent from the floor (24-of-40 overall) and turned the ball over only six times while posting a season-best 61 first-half points (topping a 58-point outburst Sunday in Oklahoma City).
Nate Robinson overcame a shaky performance in Dallas to chip in 12 points off the bench (outscoring the rest of the bench combined) and providing a nice spark, particularly in a second quarter in which Boston initially stretched out its lead. Robinson finished 5-of-7 shooting with three assists (the only negative: a minus-6 in the plus/minus).
WHAT IT MEANS
The Celtics allowed another team to creep back from a double-digit deficit in the second half, but also found a way to pull out another big road win. Doc Rivers admitted his team isn't playing its finest ball yet, but they've got a solid record and two early-season wins over the much-ballyhooed Heat. The Celtics get a day to rest before wrapping a four-game road trip in Memphis on Saturday.