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Heat takes control after half

The Celtics’ Paul Pierce puts a hand up to defend LeBron James’ shot. He finished with 32 points and 13 rebounds.

Associated Press

The Celtics’ Paul Pierce puts a hand up to defend LeBron James’ shot. He finished with 32 points and 13 rebounds.

MIAMI — For nine minutes, the Celtics were vintage. Everything was working, points were coming in bunches, the Miami crowd was rendered quiet and a big deficit disappeared.

It was about the only time all night things went Boston's way — and that wasn't enough to take down LeBron James and the Heat.

James scored 32 and grabbed 13 rebounds, Dwyane Wade scored 10 of his 22 in the fourth quarter and the Heat beat the Celtics 93-79 Monday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Shane Battier, playing in the conference final for the first time, had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat, which wasted an early 11-point first-half lead before running away to break a halftime tie. Miami outrebounded the Celtics 48-33 and blocked 11 shots.

"We let Wade, we let LeBron play in extreme comfort," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "And we gave the other guys everything they wanted as well."

Kevin Garnett had 23 points and 10 rebounds for Boston, which got 16 points, nine rebounds and seven assists from Rajon Rondo and 12 points from Paul Pierce.

Pierce was 5 for 18. Rondo shot 8 of 20. Ray Allen was 1 for 7 from the floor and 3 for 7 from the foul line — missing four free throws for just the third time in his 1,270 career regular-season and playoff games.

"We kept fighting," Rondo said. "It wasn't pretty. We missed four or five layups, a bunch of free throws. That being said, we were tied at halftime but we just didn't come out with the right mind-set in the second half."

The Celtics finished with four technical fouls (not including another for a defensive three-second violation), three coming in the second quarter.

Last season's Miami-Boston series ended with James scoring the final 10 points of Game 5, and the start of this year's matchup had him putting on another offensive display.

He had 13 points in the first quarter — two more than the entire Celtics roster — and Miami ran out to a 21-11 lead after the opening period. Garnett made three of his four shots in the quarter, while everyone else in Boston green was 2 for 16 from the floor.

"One down. And they still have an opportunity in Game 2 to accomplish what they want to," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "At times it was a strange game. Some good runs, both teams. We felt we could have played better and I'm sure they felt the same thing. But we found a way to grind it."

Also, forward Chris Bosh, sidelined since straining a lower abdominal muscle in Game 1 of Miami's second-round series against Indiana, did what the Heat called a "very light" on-court workout Sunday.

Heat 93, Celtics 79

BOSTON (79): Pierce 5-18 0-0 12, Bass 4-11 0-2 8, Garnett 9-16 5-6 23, Rondo 8-20 0-0 16, Allen 1-7 3-7 6, Stiemsma 2-2 2-2 6, Pietrus 0-1 1-4 1, Dooling 1-3 0-0 3, Pavlovic 0-1 0-0 0, Hollins 1-1 0-0 2, Daniels 1-1 0-0 2, Moore 0-0 0-0 0, Williams 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-81 11-21 79.

MIAMI (93): Battier 4-11 0-0 10, James 13-22 6-9 32, Turiaf 2-3 0-0 4, Chalmers 3-9 3-4 9, Wade 8-13 6-6 22, Anthony 1-2 1-4 3, Miller 3-5 0-0 8, Cole 0-1 0-0 0, Haslem 0-2 0-0 0, Jones 1-3 0-0 3, Howard 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 36-72 16-23 93.

Boston 11 35 15 18— 79

Miami 21 25 26 21— 93

3-Point GoalsBoston 4-14 (Pierce 2-4, Dooling 1-3, Allen 1-4, Rondo 0-1, Pietrus 0-1, Pavlovic 0-1), Miami 5-25 (Miller 2-2, Battier 2-9, Jones 1-3, Cole 0-1, Wade 0-1, James 0-3, Chalmers 0-6). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsBoston 48 (Garnett 10), Miami 54 (James 13). AssistsBoston 19 (Rondo 7), Miami 17 (Wade 7). Total FoulsBoston 19, Miami 21. TechnicalsAllen, Boston Coach Rivers, Rondo, Boston delay of game, Boston defensive three second. A19,912 (19,600)

Heat 93

Celtics 79

East final

Heat 1, Celtics 0

Monday: Heat 93, Celtics 79

Wednesday: at Miami, 8:30, ESPN

Friday: at Boston, 8:30, ESPN

Sunday: at Boston, 8:30, ESPN

June 5: at Miami, 8:30, ESPN *

June 7: at Boston, 8:30, ESPN *

June 9: at Miami, 8:30, ESPN *

West final

Spurs 1, Thunder 0

Game 1: Spurs 101, Thunder 98

Tonight: at San Antonio, 9, TNT

Thursday: at Oklahoma City, 9, TNT

Saturday: at Oklahoma City, 8:30, TNT

June 4: at San Antonio, 9, TNT *

June 6: at Oklahoma City, 9, TNT *

June 8: at San Antonio, 9, TNT *

* If necessary

Heat takes control after half 05/29/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 1:33am]

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