Jermaine O'Neal missed the last two games of the Celtics road trip with a knee injury and flew back to Boston early ater receiving a second opinion on his knee in Miami. O'Neal wasn't at practice Monday and his return is up in the air. The Celtics simply don't know yet how bad the injury is, or how much time it will take for him to return.

 

The Celtics completed their road trip with a 116-110 win over the Grizzlies Saturday night in Memphis. The C's out-scored the hosts 17-11 in the extra frame. The game went into overtime after Paul Pierce missed a contested jumper at the buzzer. Leading the C's were Paul Pierce (28 points) and Shaquille O'Neal and Kevin Garnett, who each had 18 points apiece. The Celtics head home with a 3-1 record on their four-game road swing. Rajon Rondo finished with 17 assists, while the Celtics shot 58 percent from the floor.

The Celtics announced via Twitter that center Jermaine O'Neal has returned to Boston, rather than travel to Memphis for the last game on the Celtics four-game road trip. O'Neal sat out Thursday's game against the Heat with a left knee injury and he sought a second opinion in Miami while the team was there.

 

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.