Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/29/13
They celebrated 2012-13 before the opening tip. Then they made new memories. Norris Cole crossing over Derrick Rose. Ray Allen with dual pumps fakes and then assisting on a Chris Bosh 3-pointer. Allen then following up with a 3-pointer of his own, from THAT corner. LeBron James feeding Chris Andersen for an alley-oop dunk. Shane Battier scoring off the dribble. A 31-5 surge. And that was just the first half of the first game in what the Miami Heat hope is the beginning of the run to a third consecutive NBA championship. Opening night couldn't have gone much better, save for a bit of a late letup, with the Heat closing with a 107-95 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena, an opening night that resonated from the pregame pyrotechnics to the thrill-show theatrics that followed. It appeared it was going to be a blowout, as the Heat pushed to 25-point lead early in the fourth quarter before a late letdown. That forced coach Erik Spoelstra to reinsert his starters, after the bench had boosted the Heat earlier. A few timely shots later and it was decided. The nine-man core that led the Heat to last season's championship all had their moments, as the 2013-14 newcomers watched how it's done. Udonis Haslem, an old-school starter if ever there was one, opening the scoring. Battier loaded up with four 3-pointers on the way to 14 points, picking up where he left off in Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs. Chris Andersen had eight rebounds, consistently moving into open position for scores at the rim. Allen had six assists at the intermission, closing with a Heat-career-high seven, as well as 11 points. Mario Chalmers and Cole more than held their own against Rose, who finally returned from his devastating 2012 playoff injury. Chalmers' five steals in the first half were a Heat opening-night record. Chalmers finished with 13 points and four assists, Cole with 11 points and seven rebounds. Rose closed with 12 points on 4-of-15 shooting, four assists and five turnovers in 34 minutes.
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