If you were wondering if Paul Pierce's now infamous tweet: 'It's been a pleasure to bring my talents to south beach now on to Memphis' had any effect on the Miami Heat, it did. Heat forward Udonis Haslem described Pierce as "studio gangster" after Miami's practice Friday. The Celtics beat the Heat 112-107 Thursday night, their second win over Miami in as many tries.

 

Celtics forward Paul Pierce, after the Celtics' 112-107 victory over the Heat in Miami, took a dig at Miami star LeBron James. In an echo of James' proclamation that he was "going to take my talents to South Beach" when announcing his decision to sign as a free agent with the Heat, Pierce, who scored 25 points for the Celtics on Thursday, could not help but take a dig at the Heat superstar.

 

As satisfying as the opening night win was for Celtics fans and everyone else who despised the new-look Miami Heat (read: just about everyone else on the planet), this one was better.



PAUL FLANNERY

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Despite some anxious moments in the final mimutes, the Celtics walked out of Miami with a 112-107 win over the Heat Thursday night behind 35 points from Ray Allen. Allen knocked down 7-of-9 3-pointers and made two clutch free throws in the final seconds to preserve the win. Paul Pierce added 25 points, Kevin Garnett had 16 points and 13 rebounds and Rajon Rondo had 16 assists.

 

After missing five games with an injured knee, Shaquille O'Neal returned to the Celtics lineup and started at center against the Heat, Thursday. Shaq took the place of Jermaine O'Neal, who dressed, but isn't likely to play. Jermaine O'Neal told reporters in Miami that he was going to get a second opinion on his injured left knee.

 

For more Celtics news, visit the team page at weei.com/celtics.

 

 

In the latest edition of the WEEI.com NBA Power Rankings, the Lakers remain in the top spot (despite coach Phil Jackson's recent proclamation that the team isn't as good as the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, who won an NBA-record 72 games). However, the Celtics were passed for the second spot by the New Orleans Hornets, who are off to a perfect 7-0 start.

 

Celtics executive president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, in his weekly appearance on The Big Show, said that the health of centers Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal had become something of a concern. Shaquille O'Neal has missed the last five games while recovering from a bruised right knee, while Jermaine O'Neal was sidelined in the second half of this week's contest against the Mavericks due to a left knee injury.

 

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah appeared on ESPN Radio in Chicago on Wednesday and was asked about Kevin Garnett. Noah called Garnett a "dirty player" after the Celtics forward was suspended for throwing an elbow at Quentin Richardson during last season's playoffs.

 

Judging by his comments Wednesday, Noah's opinion of Garnett has not seemed to change.

 

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

BIO | ARCHIVE | GREEN STREET BLOG


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.