MIAMI – The Eastern Conference Finals got underway on Monday night with the Miami Heat besting the Boston Celtics 93-79 to take a 1-0 series lead. LeBron James scored 32 points and grabbed 13 rebounds while Dwyane Wade chipped in with 22 points and a team-high 7 assists.
Miami led by 10 after the first quarter, a quarter in which the Celtics were held to just 11 points. But Boston scored 35 second quarter points to go to the locker room seemingly down two. At the half however, officials reviewed a basket from Joel Anthony late in the first half and concluded that it came after the shot clock had expired making the halftime score 46-46.
A 22-9 run in the third quarter lifted the Heat to a 72-61 advantage after three quarters. Miami then opened the final quarter on an 8-2 run and Boston could never again cut the lead to single digits as Miami cruised to victory and to within three games of heading back to the NBA Finals.
Besides James and Wade, Shane Battier was the only other Miami player in double-figures; Battier recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Boston was led by Kevin Garnett who scored 23 points and ripped down 10 rebounds. Rajon Rondo finished with 20 and tied Wade for a game-high with 7 assists. Paul Pierce added 12 for Boston on just 5-for-18 shooting.
Boston went cold in the second half; the Celtics scored just 33 points in the entire second half which was two fewer than their second quarter total. Game 2 will be in Miami on Wednesday night.
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