A mild tussle highlighted a low-scoring defensive game as the Boston Celtics rallied to an 85-76 win over the Miami Heat in their series opener on April 17 in Boston.

Defensive adjustments, and the fans at Boston’s TD Garden, helped spur Boston back from a 14-point deficit midway through the third quarter.
With the Heat’s Dwayne Wade doing whatever he wanted on the court, Boston changed defenses and clamped down on Wade and the rest of his teammates to hold the Heat to 10 fourth quarter points. Wade finished with 26 points, eight rebounds, six assists, three steals and two blocks.

The hard-nosed game led to a shoving match with 40 seconds remaining involving Boston’s Kevin Garnett and Glen Davis and Miami’s Wade, Quentin Richardson, Udonis Haslem and Jermaine O’Neal.
Garnett was ejected after elbowing Richardson and may be suspended for Game 2 on April 20, while several other players may be fined for their actions.
The altercation started when Richardson stepped near Boston’s Paul Pierce and said something that apparently angered Garnett. Garnett then threw an elbow at Richardson before finally being restrained by players and officials.

Pierce led the Celtics with 16 points, five rebounds and five assists.


Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO