The 2012 NBA Champions, the Miami Heat, continued their dominance against the Boston Celtics in their season opener on Oct. 30 at the American Airlines Arena, in Miami, Fla.
Each player, coach, team executive, and the owner, Micky Arison, accepted championship rings and watched as the franchise’s second NBA Championship banner was hoisted up to the rafters. The players wore their home uniforms, special shoes trimmed in championship gold, and warm-up jackets embroided with the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra said, “It was an emotional time for all of us in the organization, but our guys did a very good job of compartmentalizing and we turned the switch as soon as we went to warm-ups.”
Dwyane Wade scored 29 points, LeBron James scored 26 points, and Ray Allen scored 19 points in his Heat debut. The Heat was all over the Celtics, defeating them 120 to 107.
The game’s spectators were loud and enthusiastic during the game, and reached their loudest volume when James powered home a two-handed dunk in transition, at the end of the end of the first half. The field goal gave the Heat an eight-point lead, and the Celtics never led in the final two quarters.
The third quarter would see the Heat stretch their advantage over the Celtics to 19 points, but the Celtics cut the deficit late in the fourth quarter to just four points with 2:10 left on the clock. Chris Bosh took over and scored seven consecutive points to put the game away in the final minutes.
“Chris is as steady as they come, and he came up big in the fourth quarter when maybe we were a little fatigued,” Spoelstra said. “He does that for some reason, quietly around the league, but we understand how important he is to the success of our team.”
The Heat’s effort was enough to offset a renewed Celtics roster led by the 23 points of forward Paul Pierce and the 13 assists of point guard Rajon Rondo, who ended the game with a flagrant foul against Wade, which Wade termed “a punk play.”
Newcomer Allen closed the game out, with the second highest total by a Heat bench player in a season opener, second only to the 25 points made by Willie Burton in 1990.
On Friday, the Heat played the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden and the Denver Nuggets on Saturday at the American Airlines Arena in Miami.