Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Sports

Champs open season strong

RECOMMENDED READING


MIAMI — LeBron James got cramps, Ray Allen was snubbed and Dwyane Wade was steaming.

None of that spoiled the Heat's mood on ring night.

Wade scored 29, James had 26 points and 10 rebounds while missing much of the second half because of cramps in both legs, and the reigning NBA champion beat the Celtics 120-107 on Tuesday night in the season opener for both teams.

There were actual fireworks before the game to close the ceremony where Heat players got their championship rings and raised their title banner. There also were plenty of figurative fireworks late, first with Boston almost digging out of a 19-point hole and, after the outcome was decided, Rajon Rondo flagrantly fouling Wade by wrapping his arms around his neck on a drive.

In the end, though, the first Celtics-Heat matchup of this season was like the final one of last season: with Miami winning.

"It was good to cap this night off with a win," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "It was an emotional time for all of us in our organization."

Even for the newcomers, like Allen. He scored 19, needing only seven field-goal attempts, in his first game with Miami since leaving Boston over the summer. Chris Bosh had 19 points and 10 rebounds for Miami.

Allen got chants from the Heat crowd, which is nothing new. Except this time, they were positive.

"Never thought I'd hear that here," Allen said.

Allen also got the cold shoulder from Kevin Garnett. When he tried to engage his former teammate before the game, Garnett stared straight ahead and refused to acknowledge him.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Kyrie Irving scored 29, Anderson Varejao had a career-high 23 rebounds and host Cleveland routed short-handed Washington 94-84 in the first game on the NBA schedule. The Cavaliers led by 16 in the third quarter but needed big plays from Irving and Varejao in the final minutes.

STOUDEMIRE OUT: Amare Stoudemire could be sidelined for two months, the second straight season the Knicks forward will miss significant time because of injury. The team said Stoudemire will have left knee surgery and could be out six to eight weeks, more than twice as long as originally estimated when he was hurt during the preseason.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: Ty Lawson signed a four-year, $48 million extension with the Nuggets, eliminating a distraction that had been hanging over the team and its star point guard for weeks. … Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert said he wished he hadn't guaranteed his team would win an NBA title before LeBron James, who left Cleveland for Miami as a free agent in July 2010 and won a title last season. … The 76ers ruled out center Andrew Bynum for tonight's home opener against Denver and have no timetable for his return. Bynum has a bone bruise in his right knee. … The Pacers will start the season without star forward Danny Granger, who is sidelined indefinitely with a sore left knee.

Heat 120, Celtics 107

BOSTON (107): Pierce 6-15 9-9 23, Bass 6-11 3-4 15, Garnett 4-8 1-1 9, Lee 5-6 0-0 11, Rondo 9-14 2-4 20, Sullinger 1-2 0-0 2, Terry 2-7 4-4 8, Green 0-4 3-4 3, Barbosa 6-8 1-2 16. Totals 39-75 23-28 107.

MIAMI (120): James 10-16 4-5 26, Battier 2-4 0-0 6, Bosh 8-15 3-4 19, Wade 10-22 9-11 29, Chalmers 3-7 2-2 8, Allen 5-7 7-8 19, Haslem 0-1 0-0 0, Lewis 4-5 1-2 10, Cole 1-2 0-0 3, Miller 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 43-79 26-32 120.

Boston 25 29 22 31— 107

Miami 31 31 31 27— 120

3-Point GoalsBoston 6-13 (Barbosa 3-3, Pierce 2-4, Lee 1-1, Rondo 0-2, Terry 0-3), Miami 8-16 (Battier 2-3, Allen 2-3, James 2-4, Lewis 1-2, Cole 1-2, Bosh 0-1, Chalmers 0-1). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsBoston 43 (Garnett 12), Miami 40 (James, Bosh 10). AssistsBoston 24 (Rondo 13), Miami 25 (Chalmers 11). Total FoulsBoston 23, Miami 20. TechnicalsRondo, Boston illegal defense, Miami illegal defense. Flagrant Fouls—Rondo. A20,296.

Cavaliers 94, Wizards 84

WASHINGTON (84): Ariza 3-8 1-2 9, Booker 2-9 0-0 4, Okafor 4-10 2-4 10, Price 2-13 1-1 7, Beal 2-8 2-2 8, Vesely 3-4 1-4 7, Webster 4-6 0-0 9, Crawford 4-13 3-4 11, Ja.Pargo 2-6 2-2 7, Singleton 2-7 0-0 4, Barron 4-6 0-1 8. Totals 32-90 12-20 84.

CLEVELAND (94): Gee 2-9 0-0 4, Thompson 5-8 2-4 12, Varejao 3-7 3-3 9, Irving 11-20 4-5 29, Waiters 6-14 3-4 17, Miles 1-5 0-0 2, Zeller 2-4 1-2 5, Gibson 3-5 2-4 10, Walton 1-2 0-0 2, Sloan 2-5 0-0 4. Totals 36-79 15-22 94.

Washington 24 15 23 22— 84

Cleveland 31 19 24 20— 94

3-Point GoalsWashington 8-32 (Beal 2-4, Ariza 2-4, Price 2-9, Webster 1-3, Ja.Pargo 1-4, Booker 0-1, Singleton 0-1, Crawford 0-6), Cleveland 7-20 (Irving 3-6, Gibson 2-4, Waiters 2-5, Walton 0-1, Miles 0-1, Sloan 0-1, Gee 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsWashington 49 (Barron 8), Cleveland 67 (Varejao 23). AssistsWashington 26 (Price 6), Cleveland 22 (Varejao 9). Total FoulsWashington 19, Cleveland 21. TechnicalsCrawford, Thompson. A20,562 (20,562).

Comments
American Athletic Conference power rankings, Week 13

American Athletic Conference power rankings, Week 13

Memphis has locked down the West Division.All that's left is to settle the East with Friday's "War on I-4" between UCF and USF.USF has won six of the eight meetings in the rivalry, but the stakes never have been greater. The winner advances to play M...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
More attractive landing spot for coaches, UF or FSU?

More attractive landing spot for coaches, UF or FSU?

GAINESVILLE — Unless Chip Kelly has made up his mind by the time you read this, the Gators are still looking for a new football coach.There's a chance the rival Seminoles aren't far behind. Industry insiders are speculating that Texas A&M could...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Fennelly: USF-UCF rivalry needs more than directional disrespect

Fennelly: USF-UCF rivalry needs more than directional disrespect

TAMPA — It’s the biggest football game in USF history. It’s two days and 90 miles away. USF at UCF. The 9-1 Bulls against the 10-0 Knights. It’s USF coach Charlie Strong against UCF/Florida/Nebraska coach Scott Frost. It̵...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Call Missouri jinxed, but Michael Porter Jr. injury is its own story

Please repeat after me: There is no such thing as jinxes, hexes, ghosts or cartoonish black clouds looming with personalized curses for select targets.Honest.But, boy, are there coincidences — even if some say there is no such thing as those, either....
Updated: 8 hours ago

Giants are NFL’s most disappointing team this season, but Broncos are close

The New York Giants made the playoffs for the first time in four years last season under the guidance of coach Ben McAdoo, setting high expectations for the 2017 campaign. They pushed those expectations even higher with the addition in free agency of...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Cambridge Christian’s Caleb Young makes up for lost season

Cambridge Christian’s Caleb Young makes up for lost season

TAMPA — For Cambridge Christian, last Friday’s Class 2A region final against Indian Rocks Christian represented a hurdle that the Lancers couldn’t quite clear a year ago. For one Lancer in particular, it was the Golden Eagles themselves that brought ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Bucs journal: Defense struggling to get off the field on third and long

Bucs journal: Defense struggling to get off the field on third and long

TAMPA — Third and long, normally an ideal situation for an NFL defense, continues to be a problem as the Bucs try to get opposing offenses off the field.In the second half of Sunday’s game, the Dolphins converted six third downs when they needed 8 ya...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Browns welcome Gordon to practice

Browns welcome Gordon to practice

CLEVELAND — Every day he stays committed and sober, Josh Gordon takes another step toward playing again in the NFL. The long walk and wait are nearly over. The wide receiver, who squandered millions in potential earnings and derailed a promising care...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Bucs-Falcons: Has this former Buc become a pass-rushing force?

Bucs-Falcons: Has this former Buc become a pass-rushing force?

TAMPA — The Bucs face the defending NFC champions twice in their final six games. As they prepare to go to Atlanta on Sunday, former Tampa Bay first-round pick Adrian Clayborn is enjoying quite a two-week run.Clayborn, 29, had six sacks Nov. 12 in a ...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Chip Kelly is not the best candidate for Florida job

For the sake of a beleaguered and bedraggled fan base, here’s hoping Chip Kelly becomes the next head coach of the Florida Gators even though I think he’s not a great fit — culturally, geographically and philosophically — at UF.Gator Nation needs som...
Updated: 8 hours ago