Boston Celtics Vs. Miami Heat: Game 1

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The Heat start their quest for a repeat as NBA Champions, tonight at 8.

The Miami Heat will be hosting the Boston Celtics at the AmericanAirlines Arena In Miami tonight. The game casts the two last teams standing in the Eastern Conference from last postseason, where the Heat put the Celtics down in seven games. It's the first of four meetings this season between the two clubs, and the first of two they will play on South Beach. Afterward, the Heat will travel to New York to battle the Knicks in Madison Square Garden before returning home for a three game stand. The Celtics will play their home opener in TD Garden on Friday, hosting the Milwaukee Bucks.

The two teams last met on June 9th, in game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals in Miami. Recap courtesy of NBA.COM:

LeBron James led the Heat with 31 points and 12 rebounds while Dwyane Wade added 23 points, six rebounds and six assists. Forward Chris Bosh finished with 19 points and eight rebounds.

The Heat trailed by seven at halftime before tying the score at 73 entering the fourth quarter. Boston still held an 82-81 lead before things began to unravel. The Heat took control with a 10-2 run, capped by a 31-foot 3-pointer from James as the shot clock expired with 5:43 remaining in the game.

Full recap

NBA CIRCLE - Game 7 Heat Vs Celtics Playoffs Eastern Finals Highlights 9 June 2012 www.nbacircle.com (via NEWNBACIRCLE)

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra spoke afterward about the series:

I guess that's what a seven-game Eastern Conference series is supposed to be like. It was good to see us come together in a very competitive series.

The Heat prepared for the regular season by closing a 4-4 preseason with a 96-89 loss to the New Orleans Hornets in Miami. Chris Bosh led Miami with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while LBJ pitched in 19 and eight, respectively. The Hornets' Anthony Davis led all scorers with 24 on 11-for-18 shooting.

Full recap

NBA Preseason - New Orleans Hornets Vs Miami Heat Highlights 26 October 2012 (via AustinJamesRivers0)

The Celtics concluded their preseason tune up last Sunday at home against the Philadelphia 76ers. Recap courtesy of the Associated Press:

Dorell Wright scored 20 points while Jrue Holiday added 10 points and six assists to help the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Boston Celtics 88-79 on Sunday night in an exhibition game.

Nick Young scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half for the Sixers (5-1), who close out the preseason Monday night against the New York Knicks in Syracuse. Spencer Hawes scored 12 and Evan Turner added 10 points for Philadelphia.

Jeff Green had 12 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks and Rajon Rondo had 12 points and 10 assists in Boston's last game of the preseason.

Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett returned to the lineup for the Celtics (2-4) after resting Saturday when Boston rallied for a win over the Knicks in Albany. Both scored eight points and Garnett added seven rebounds before leaving early in the fourth quarter.

[10-21-2012] Boston Celtics Vs Philadelphia 76ers Full Highlights HD (via Tektv8888)

The Heat is 37-58 all-time against their frequent postseason foes from New England. They'll need to win every game against Boston through their first matchup in 2017-18 just to break even.

Game Time: 8:00 PM ET

Current Odds: Miami by -7 1/2

Season Series: 0-0

Standings

Miami Heat: 0-0, tied for first in the Southeast Division, the Eastern Conference, and the NBA. Current odds of making the postseason: 53.3%

Boston Celtics: 0-0, tied for first in the Atlantic Division, the Eastern Conference, and the NBA. Current odds of making the postseason: 53.3%

Probable Starters

Miami Heat:

PG - Mario Chalmers

SG - Dwyane Wade

SF - Shane Battier

PF - LeBron James

CF - Chris Bosh

Boston Celtics:

PG - Rajon Rondo

SG - Courtney Lee

SF - Paul Pierce

PF - Brandon Bass

C - Kevin Garnett

Common Thread:

New Heat acquisition Ray Allen will be entering his 17th NBA season with his fourth team. He played the last five seasons with the Celtics, averaging 17 points per game and hitting 40.9 percent of his three-point attempts through 358 regular season games.

Heat Milestones:

With four more field goals, Chris Bosh will move into the Heat's top 20 all-time, displacing Micheal Beasley.

Two rebounds will place Joel Anthony in 20th all-time, passing John Salley with 1,057.

Udonis Haslem sits 54 rebounds short of the Heat all-time leader, Alonzo Mourning.

Opponent Splits:

LBJ has averaged 30.4 points with 6.3 rebounds and 6.3 dimes against the Celtics. Udonis Haslem puts up 11 points and nine boards. We can expect 19 points and nine rebounds from Chris Bosh, while DWade puts up 21 points with six assists.

From the Beantown side, KG averages 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Rajon Rondo typically can be counted on for 13 points and 10 assists. Paul Pierce averages 23 points and six rebounds.

Team Leaders: (2011-12)

PPG

Lebron James, 27.1, Dwyane Wade, 22.1, Chris Bosh, 18.0

RPG:

LeBron James, Chris Bosh, 7.9, Udonis Haslem, 7.3

APG:

LeBron James, 6.2, Dwyane Wade, 4.6, Mario Chalmers, 3.5

SPG:

LeBron James, 1.9, Dwyane Wade, 1.7, Mario Chalmers, 1.5

BPG:

Dwyane Wade, Joel Anthony, 1.3, Ronny Turiaf, 1.1

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