For nine minutes, the Boston Celtics were vintage. Everything was working, points were coming in bunches, the Miami crowd was rendered quiet and a big deficit disappeared.
It was about the only time all night things went Boston's way - and that wasn't enough to take down LeBron James and the Heat.
James scored 32 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, Dwyane Wade scored 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and the Heat beat the Celtics 93-79 on Monday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Shane Battier, playing in the conference finals for the first time, had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat, who wasted an early 11-point first-half lead before running away to break a halftime tie. Miami outrebounded the Celtics 48-33 and blocked 11 shots.
''We let Wade, we let LeBron play in extreme comfort,'' Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. ''And we gave the other guys everything they wanted as well.''
Kevin Garnett had 23 points and 10 rebounds for Boston, which got 16 points, ...