Ugly Brawl, Hard Defense Mars Heat's Loss to Boston In Game One

John Friel@@JohnFtheheatgodAnalyst IApril 18, 2010

BOSTON - APRIL 17:  Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics exchanges words with members of the Miami Heat bench after teammate Paul Pierce was shoved into the Heat bench during Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2010 NBA playoffs at the TD Garden on April 17, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Heat 85-76.   (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

In a series that featured the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics, it just wouldn't be the same unless it was capped off by some event where tensions boil over and eventually spill out and lead to some sort of brawl.

It was ugly, hard-nosed, and I can't wait for game two.

Dwyane Wade had 26 points, eight rebounds, six assists, three steals, and two blocks, but couldn't get much help from anywhere else in the Heat's game one 85-76 loss. Quentin Richardson was the only other Miami player in double figures with 15.

The Celtics got their usual balanced attack with Paul Pierce scoring 16, Kevin Garnett dropping 15, Tony Allen tallying 14, and Rajon Rondo ending with 10 points. Typically, four players in double figures will triumph against a team where one player controls the tempo for three parts of the game and then needs to rely on his teammates in the final frame.

The Heat appeared to be in full control when they took a 61-48 lead with seven and a half minutes left in the third quarter and Dwyane Wade was cutting into the lane at will, but double teams and missed shots gave the Celtics all they needed to stage a comeback and take back the lead at 71-68 following a Glen Davis and-one.

The Heat had taken a 44-41 lead into halftime and quickly stretched it to 51-43 with Wade and Richardson leading the way, while anyone else that wore a Heat jersey stood around and observed the clinic the two were putting on.

This would eventually get to the Heat because in the fourth quarter, when you really need to score and need a team effort, Miami got no production from anybody en route to a 10 point fourth quarter with Wade scoring the latter of the points late when the game was already well decided.

But it wasn't the game that every one will be talking about at the water cooler on Monday, it would be the event that occurred with 40 seconds left in the game because of another career-ending injury suffered by Paul Pierce.

When Pierce ran his shoulder into Udonis Haslem's chest, he must have aggravated his spine and brain in the process because Pierce collapsed like a ton of bricks near the Heat bench which quickly led to consoling by Kevin Garnett. As Garnett stood over Pierce, Quentin Richardson came over to take the ball out as said by himself or talk nonsense as Garnett said.

As Richardson stepped near Pierce, Garnett shoved Quentin which escalated into an argument and Glen Davis stepping in to push Richardson which was followed up by Haslem pushing Davis and a regular brouhaha occurring that was capped off by Garnett throwing an elbow into Richardson's face.

After a five minute review by the officials, they ejected Garnett and issued technical fouls to Richardson, Davis, and Haslem. The game ended with no other difficulties.

Now, the question remains if Kevin Garnett should be suspended for game two. If the NBA is consistent with issuing suspensions, then Garnett will receive the suspension considering Dwight Howard threw a less inadvertent elbow into Samuel Dalembert's face last season that led to a one-game suspension for Howard.

This could be a huge change in momentum for the series if Garnett finds himself unable to play in game two. His defense on Beasley that only led to six points was a large reason why the Heat couldn't prevail in game one. With a slower Davis guarding Beasley, the second year forward could find scoring coming much easier when he doesn't have a former NBA defensive player on the year draped over him.

Nevertheless, the Heat found themselves in a familiar spot when it came to free throw shooting, getting out-shot from the foul line 28-13 and being outscored by a crucial 12 points. Dwyane Wade shot six of the Heat's 13 free throws.

The Heat also wasted a terrible three-point shooting night from the Celtics where Boston as a team only hit one three-pointer with the one coming from Paul Pierce late in the third quarter. Shooting specialist Ray Allen was 0-4 from beyond the arc and finished with eight points on 2-9 shooting.

Boston did not need Allen though, as they were supported with four double figure scorers. The Heat saw limited offense from usual scorers in Jermaine O'Neal who finished with eight points on a dismal 3-14 shooting.


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