When last we saw the Miami Heat, they were a team taking stock of themselves after an opening night pounding against the Celtics. “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” LeBron James said after the game. Generic clichés aside, King James had a point, even if most of the world would like to see him make like Nero and fiddle away while the burgeoning empire burns.



PAUL FLANNERY

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The Celtics came all the way back from a 14-point first-half deficit to grab a five-point lead in the final two minutes, only to see their effort go for naught when the Mavericks closed on a 7-0 run to send Boston to an 89-87 loss. Dirk Nowitzki's 16-foot jumper from the wing with 17 seconds left broke a tie, and the Celtics came up short when Kevin Garnett's turnaround jumper from the corner as time expired fell well short of the bucket.

 

According to reports out of Dallas, Celtics center Jermaine O'Neal is expected to sit out the second half of Monday's game against the Mavericks due to ongoing discomfort with his left knee. O'Neal was 1-for-6 with three offensive boards over 11 first-half minutes, before the knee forced him to the bench. O'Neal already missed a game on Oct. 29 due to discomfort in the same knee.

 

O'Neal is averaging 6.2 points and 3.7 boards in 19 minutes per night.

 

As the young and energetic Oklahoma City Thunder sliced what had been a three-touchdown lead down to scraps, Doc Rivers put the game in the hands of



PAUL FLANNERY

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The Celtics have now won five straight games and six of their first seven, after beating Oklahoma City, 92-83 to start their road trip. Ray Allen scored 19 points, Paul Pierce added 17 and Rajon Rondo had 10 points and 10 rebounds, but the stars of the night where the reserves who outdcored their OKC counterparts, 33-12 and held off a fourth quarter rally.

 

Derrick Rose had the ball at the top of the key isolated on Rajon Rondo. Tie game, shot clock turned off, the whole game in his hands.



PAUL FLANNERY

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Kevin Garnett said he is tired of talking about his run-in with Detroit's Charlie Villanueva on Tuesday in Boston's win over the Pistons. Villanueva accused Garnett, via twitter, of calling him a cancer patient during a trash-talking session on the court. Garnett spent Wednesday trying to diffuse the situation, claiming there was a misunderstanding and he simply called the Pistons big man a 'cancer' to his team and the NBA. 

 

Friday, Garnett said he's done talking about it.

 

Celtics coach Doc Rivers said his head trainer told him hours before Friday's tip-off that Rajon Rondo wouldn't be available to the team in their game against Chicago because of lingering soreness in his left foot. 

 

In a game that was a throwback to the first round of the 2009 playoffs, the Celtics had a fierce battle with the Bulls, coming out on top, 110-105, in overtime. Ray Allen led the way with 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting while Kevin Garnett added 16. Glen Davis chipped in with 15 off the bench for the Celtics, who won their fourth straight and spoiled the return of former Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau as Bulls head coach. 

 

Brian Scalabrine backed his former teammate Kevin Garnett and said that Charlie Villanueva should not have said anything publicly about what happens on the court. "I believe that Villanuvea broke a code that should have never been broke," Scalabrine said. "What was said out there stays out there. I would never go to you guys and say the stuff that KG’s going to say to me tonight. Good or bad."