The Miami Heat improved to 2-0 on Tuesday night with a 115-107 win over the Boston Celtics at American Airlines Arena. The Celtics went to a zone to slow down the Heat's blistering pace on offense, and they made it interesting - cutting Miami's lead to just three points down the stretch.
But it was the rookie Norris Cole, not LeBron James or Dwyane Wade, who came up big down the stretch to seal the win for Miami. Cole finished with 20 points, four rebounds, four assists, and three steals. As Boston continued to light it up from behind the arc, it was Cole who played the role of closer, scoring eight of Miami's final ten points over the last three minutes of the game. The Heat fans even rained down jocular chants of "M-V-P" as Cole straddled the free throw line to ice the game.
Along with Cole, both LeBron and Wade poured in 20+ points. James finished with 26 while Wade chipped in with 24. The zone was certainly effective against the end-to-end pace Erik Spoelstra had established through the first six quarters of the season.
After winning the home opener, Miami now heads out on the road to face the Charlotte Bobcats on the second night of a back-to-back.