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Final: Heat 115, Celtics 107

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff  December 27, 2011 07:55 PM

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Final: Heat 115-107: Rookie Norris Cole broke the Celtics' backs down the stretch with key buckets and the Heat staved off a furious Boston Rally. Ray Allen finished with 28 points.

Fourth quarter, 1:31, Heat 110-105: After the Celtics force a Dwyane Wade miss, Rajon Rondo throws the ball back to Wade trying to get a streaking Keyon Dooling to the basket. Rookie Norris Cole then drains a jumper. Celtics ball.

Fourth quarter, 2:02, Heat 108-105: Keyon Dooling has gone on a personal 7-0 run for the Celtics are yes, they are one possession behind after trailing by 20 in the third quarter. Boston is relentless this evening but it needs to make a few more plays and the first has to be a defensive stop on this next possession.

Fourth quarter, 3:01, Heat 108-98: The Celtics are valiantly trying to rally but keep allowing big Miami buckets, such as a 20-footer by rookie Norris Cole for the 10-point lead. The Celtics have employed a zone to slow down the Heat and it's worked but they need one final surge. Another nothing game for Jermaine O'Neal, who has no points and 1 rebound in 20 minutes.

Fourth quarter, 6:00, Heat 102-93: The Celtics keep pushing and have cut the lead to single digits yet again with an 8-2 run as Ray Allen has carried the Celtics with 28 points and Rajon Rondo has 20. Kevin Garnett has not been a factor with 10 points in 26 minutes.

Fourth quarter, 8:54, Heat 98-85: The Celtics are off to another slow start and are ruining their chances of any rally. Norris Cole has emerged as Miami's starting point guard and has two baskets in the quarter and Shane Battier has added a 3-pointer. The Celtics have gotten nothing from Jermaine O'Neal, who has no points in 20 minutes.

End of third quarter, Heat 91-83: Amazingly, the Celtics are close despite Miami shooting 70 percent midway through the third quarter. The Celtics ended the quarter with 18-6 run as they finally started to play defense and rebound. The Celtics are shooting 54 percent and Ray Allen has 25 points, looking as effective as ever.

Third quarter, 4:23, Heat 89-74: The Heat are just running up and down the floor and scoring with ease. They are much improved from last season it that's possible and that's scary for the rest of the Eastern Conference. The Miami Big Three has combined for 60 points and the rest of the Heat 29. The Celtics are shooting 54 percent, so again, this one is on the defense.

Third quarter, 7:02, Heat 81-65: It's simple, the Celtics just can't stop the Heat offensively. They are trading baskets, which puts great pressure on the offense to score every time. Miami is on a 6-0 run, just from hitting jumpers off the fastbreak. Miami's shooting percentage has soared to 68 and the duo of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have 38 points.

Halftime, Heat 69-54: It's been a boat race so far in Miami, with the Heat surging to big leads and the Celtics trying to stay close. The Celtics came to within 10 but the LeBron James scored 6 straight points, including a layup and breakaway dunk as the Heat shot 65 percent in the first half. The Celtics are luckily close enough to make a run but need more from Jermaine O'Neal. who hasn't scored while Brandon Bass has just 2.

Second quarter, 2:25, Heat 59-49: James Jones has come on to his three 3-pointers in the quarter, which makes Miami almost unguardable because he is going to be open off double teams. But the Celtics have used a stellar stretch from Ray Allen (17 points) and a 3-pointer from Keyon Dooling to stay close. The Heat are shooting 63 percent.

Second quarter, 5:38, Heat 51-37: Miami is on a 21-10 run in the quarter as the Celtics are looking for fouls and not getting any. The Celtics have commited 12 turnovers and are relying on Rajon Rondo's penetration. They need someone else to step up.

Second quarter, 9:00, Heat 38-29: Miami off to an 8-2 run to begin the quarter because the Celtics are making constant turnovers. Rajon Rondo had a breakaway layup that he airballed because he anticipated a Dwyane Wade block attempt. Miami is still shooting 65 percent so the Celtics are lucky that they are still within striking distance. Rondo leads the Celtics with 8 points.

End of first quarter, Heat 30-27: The Celtics are lucky to be this close. They have already commited nine fouls to Miami's four and Dwyane Wade and LeBron James have combined for 14 points and the Heat are shooting 63 percent. The Celtics were trailing 26-15 but the bench sparked a rally, including Marquis Daniels and Keyon Dooling.

First quarter, 4:18, Heat 26-20: The Celtics are playing bad defense and again are fouling too much. Doc Rivers is going to get a technical soon with the way he is working the officials, especially Olandis Poole, who just called one on Rajon Rondo for arguing a non-call on a layup. Miami is shooting 9 of 11 from the field. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade each have 7 points.

First quarter, 6:49, Heat 18-11: Miami has started the game off strong and the Celtics are just trying to hang in until it cools off. Chris Bosh just trailed a play and hit a 3-pointer, making the Heat even tougher to defend. A good sign is a 3-pointer by Sasha Pavlovic, his first points of the season.

First quarter, 8:05, Heat 11-9: The Celtics are trying to hang in early and are trading baskets with the Heat. Sasha Pavlovic just canned a 3-pointer and Jermaine O'Neal just picked up his second foul.

First quarter, 11:40, Celtics 2-0: Ray Allen opens the game with two free throws after being fouled by Joel Anthony.

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