One night after playing the most hyped opener in NBA history, the Celtics got caught on the back end of a back-to-back on the road in a 95-87 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs trailed by five entering the fourth quarter but rallied to take an 89-84 lead with 1:33 remaining. The Celtics had a chance to tie the game, but Ray Allen missed a 3-pointer. Allen went 0-for-5 from 3-point range.

 

Tuesday night's Celtics-Heat game scored a 5.6 overnight rating for TNT, a 75 percent improvement from last season's opening game between the Celtics and Cavaliers. The second half of the TNT doubleheader featuring the Lakers and Rockets also had a solid boost from 2009, drawing 40 percent more viewers to register a 3.5. Overall, TNT averaged a 4.5 for the doubleheader, making it by far the most-watched NBA opening night in TNT history.

 

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ESPN's Tim Legler joined the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning to dissect the Celtics' season-opening victory over the Heat on Tuesday night at TD Garden. Legler said the debut of the Heat's Big Three was a clear failure.

 

Now that it’s over, the Celtics could concede that this was no ordinary game.



PAUL FLANNERY

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Paul Pierce said he expects to feel tightness and soreness over the next 24 hours as the Celtics prepare to take on the Cavaliers in their first road game of season on Wednesday night at Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena. Pierce was called for a foul with 4:32 left in the third quarter on Tuesday when he attempted to draw a charge on LeBron James. He fell backwards and onto his back. He held his back as the Celtics ran a play up the court but came out moments later and then headed to the locker room for treatment of a bruised back and back spasms.

 

The Celtics played defense like they knew what the Miami Heat were going to run. And Ray Allen, who defended Dwyane Wade much of the night and held him to 4-of-16 shooting, explained exactly how they were able to defend Miami in an 88-80 win in the season opener at TD Garden. LeBron James finished with a game-high 31 points but Wade, James and Chris Bosh combined to make only 17-of-48 shots. 

 

Are you ready for one man's diary of THE MOST ANTICIPATED NBA SEASON OPENER OF ALL TIME? Quick, name me another NBA season opener that was anticipated at all.



KIRK MINIHANE

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Now that it's over, the Celtics could concede that this was no ordinary opening night. As Kevin Garnett walked to the podium in the room usually reserved for games deep in the playoffs he turned to Paul Pierce and said, "Are we in the finals already?"

 

"It did have a lot of hype on it," Garnett continued. "A lot of good personnel on both teams, a lot of outstanding personnel. You could tell both teams were a bit rusty. You could tell there was a lot of hype, a lot of anticipation with this game."

 

BOSTON - LeBron James spoke to the media following his first game as a member of the Miami Heat, an 88-80 loss to the Celtics on Tuesday at the TD Garden. James, who led all scorers with 31 points (21 in the second half), was asked about his team's performance against the defending Eastern Conference champions.

 

Ray Allen led the offense with 20 points and drilled a clutch jumper late while Rajon Rondo dished out 17 assists as the Celtics played smothering defense to spoil the highly anticipated debut of LeBron James with the Miami Heat. The Celtics won, 88-80, Tuesday night at TD Garden in the NBA season opener. James scored 21 second-half points and finished with a game-high 31 points while Dwyane Wade had 13 and Chris Bosh added eight points and eight boards for the Heat.