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Champs open season strong

The Heat’s Dwyane Wade, who had a game-high 29 points, takes on two Celtics defenders for a first-quarter shot.

MCT

The Heat’s Dwyane Wade, who had a game-high 29 points, takes on two Celtics defenders for a first-quarter shot.

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).

Champs open season strong 10/31/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 1:21am]

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