"You saw the emergence of a lot of guys," said Pierce, who
played 35 minutes and was the only Celtic to play more than 28.
"There are a number of guys who are going to be able to showcase
Eddie Jones had 22 points and eight rebounds for Miami, which
was missing Odom. The centerpiece of the Heat's offseason overhaul,
Odom sprained his right ankle in the season opener on Tuesday,
which Miami also lost.
"We knew they were banged up. We knew they were on a
back-to-back game, so we tried to do everything we could to take
their legs out of it," Celtics coach Jim O'Brien said. "A lot of
nice contributions. I can't think of anybody that didn't really
In recent years, Pierce and Walker have accounted for a bigger
share of their team's points than any other NBA duo except
Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. But Walker was dealt to Dallas
along with Tony Delk for LaFrentz, Jiri Welsch and a first-round
The theory behind the trade was that subtracting Walker's
sometimes dominating presence will get the others more involved in
"The ball is moving a lot better. They don't have one guy
controlling the ball," said Bimbo Coles, who finished last season
with Boston and started this one with the Heat.
"I see the trade benefiting the Celtics. Not taking anything
away from Antoine, but there will now be more scoring for the other
guys on the team."
LaFrentz didn't start, but he played 28 minutes and added five
rebounds and three blocked shots.
But the most pleasant surprise for the Celtics was Baker, who
left the team in the middle of last season to check into an alcohol
rehab center. He started and scored the first Celtics basket of the
season, getting the ball beneath the hoop and muscling past Brian
Grant for a layup.
Baker also had five rebounds before leaving in the final minute
to a standing ovation.
"It's the most special night of my career," he said. "I'm
The Celtics had a 49-39 lead at halftime and kept it in double
figures for all but a few minutes in the third.
Jones scored seven consecutive Miami points to help the Heat
pull to 65-58 with 4:04 left in the third. But Boston answered with
a 12-0 run -- getting baskets from four different players -- to
extend its lead to 19.
Boston wore white shoes. According to a Celtics spokesman,
team patriarch Red Auerbach said he could not remember a time when
the team's shoes were not either green or black. "I don't think
Red likes them," Williams said. "But we got a win with them."
... Pierce, the sole team captain since Walker's trade, addressed
the fans before the game. ... Miami dropped to 8-6 in the
FleetCenter. ... Jones and Miami's top draft pick, Dwyane Wade,
were also injured in the first game, but they returned Wednesday.
Wade sustained a hip pointer when he took a charge in the first
half, and Jones sustained cuts on two fingers on his right hand.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
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