90 - 99 Final
  for this game

Wade, Heat down Celtics in chippy Game 1

May 1, 2011 - 11:51 PM Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Dwyane Wade hustled to the end, scoring 38 points Sunday to lead Miami to a 99-90 win over Boston in Game 1 of their anticipated second-round playoff series.

The must-see game grew chippy down the stretch, and Celtics forward Paul Pierce was ejected after getting two technical fouls in a 59-second span in the fourth quarter.

"We reacted," Boston head coach Doc Rivers said. "That's exactly what they wanted us to do. We have to be better than that."

Pierce's ejection, with 7 minutes remaining, overshadowed the fact that Boston fell behind early and never caught up despite making several runs at Miami's big lead.

With LeBron James and Chris Bosh struggling to find the hoop, the Heat were bolstered by James Jones' 25 points off the bench, a career playoff-high for the reserve forward.

James scored 22 points in nearly 30 minutes, while Bosh went just 3-of-10 for seven points, but grabbed 12 rebounds.

Both teams shot below 48 percent, but Wade kept Miami afloat by hitting 14 of his 21 shots, including a 4-for-7 performance for 13 points in the fourth quarter.

Wade threw himself several rows deep into the seats chasing a loose ball in the fourth quarter despite Miami's double-digit lead.

"Both teams were contesting everything," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. "Dwyane set the tone with his energy."

While Wade channeled his emotions, Pierce couldn't control his, garnering an automatic ejection when Boston needed him the most.

With the Celtics down by 12, Pierce pumped-faked Jones into the air, then took exception when Jones came down hard on his back. He jawed at the reserve Heat forward and the two brushed faces -- a possible head butt by Pierce.

Both players received technical fouls with 7:59 remaining in the game.

Just 59 seconds later, Wade was trying to run through a pick at the Miami end when he threw a shoulder into Pierce's chest in front of the Heat bench.

Pierce, who appeared to say something, was whistled for another technical. Wade also received a technical, but the players were separated almost immediately.

"Both teams want to win that bad," said James said of the game's physicality. "We just have to keep making the right plays to win."

Rivers complained that Jones and Wade had committed "clear" flagrant fouls and took particular exception with the collision involving Wade.

"An absolute flagrant," said the Boston coach, who walked across mid-court to argue with officials after the play. "He was just trying to run through Paul."

"He's the coach of the other team," said Wade. "I took the foul and was ready to move on from it."

Pierce scored 19 points before leaving, including seven in the fourth quarter. Ray Allen led Boston with 25 points, but was frustrated by the way the Celtics started the game.

Miami carried a 20-14 lead into the second quarter, then ended the half on a 13-6 run to carry a 51-36 advantage into the locker room. The Celtics, showing little patience, were outshot 53-39 percent in the half.

"The one thing we talked about was not letting them get in transition. I think the simple fact that we didn't have patience gave them everything they wanted," said Allen.

"You give a team like that with great athletes confidence early, you're in for a long night."

Miami pushed its lead to a game-high 19 points early in the third quarter, but the Celtics responded with a 12-0 run keyed by Pierce, who scored seven during the burst as his team climbed within 55-48.

"It's a game of runs and Boston will continue to come," said Spoelstra.

Miami had a brief run near the end of the third a took a 76-62 lead into the fourth. The fireworks in the final quarter kept attention off the score while Miami buckled, but never broke.

Boston got within 90-82 on Allen's three-pointer with 4:22 remaining, but didn't get closer than that until cutting the lead to 97-90 in the final minute.

"We got the win," said Spoelstra, "and now we have to try to get amnesia."

Game 2 is scheduled for Tuesday, also in Miami.

Game Notes

The second-seeded Heat beat Philadelphia 4-1 in the first round, while the third-seeded Celtics swept New York...Spoelstra said of the collision between Jones and Pierce: "J.J. just got caught in the air. That play happens all the time. Players don't want to give up the three-point play"...More physical play: James was on a breakaway midway through the first quarter when he was hugged from behind by Rajon Rondo for a foul. James carried Rondo under the basket, where the Celtics guard fell into cameramen while the much bigger James remained standing. Rondo had just eight points and seven assists in more than 32 minutes.