Dwyane Wade led all scorers with 38 points as the Miami Heat dominated the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, setting the tone by pulling away late in the first half and handing Boston their first loss of the post-season with a 99-90 win.
Paul Pierce was ejected with seven minutes left in the game after a small confrontation with Dwyane Wade.
Pierce had a confrontation earlier with James Jones, which resulted in a double technical. He finished the night with 19 points on 6 of 14 shooting.
Ray Allen led all Celtics scorers with 25 points drilling 5-of-8 from behind the arch. Boston needed a great game from Rajon Rondo but they didn't get it. He had eight points and seven assists.
James Jones came up huge for Miami off the bench, matching Ray Allen's 25 points and making 5 of 7 points from three-point range. LeBron James added 22 points for the Heat, blocking two shots and grabbing six rebounds. Chris Bosh was the only player to grab double-digit rebounds with 12.
After a close fought first quarter, the Heat ended up heading into halftime with a 15 point lead. They took control of the game behind Dwyane Wade's 23 first half points and James Jones' 4 of 5 shooting from behind the arch.
For Boston, Ray Allen was the only bright spot. He entered halftime with 13 points. Pierce turned the ball over twice as much as his point total (2) in the first half and joined Garnett with two fouls while Rondo had three.
The Celtics were able to pull within seven points several times in the third quarter but never climbed any closer. The Heat answered every Celtics run and built their lead back up to 14 entering the final frame.
Boston had climbed within 10 in the fourth quarter but their frustration began to show. Paul Pierce had a clash with James Jones after drawing a foul and was soon ejected after jawing with Dwyane Wade minutes later.
The Pierce ejection deflated Boston as it looked liked the Heat would pull away for good. Yet the Celtics got their best chance of the night after going on an 8-0 run -- highlighted by two Ray Allen threes -- which brought them within eight with 4:22 remaining after trailing by 19. However, as had happened all game, the Heat responded with six straight points to bring their lead back up to 14. While the Celtics pulled were able to pull within seven with 37 seconds to go, it was far too late. The Heat ended the game with a 99-90 lead.
Game 2 will take place this Tuesday at 8pm.