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Heat look to open 2-game cushion

May 3, 2011
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

n Scores, schedule, 13A

MIAMI (AP) - Paul Pierce is from Los Angeles, so he knows a thing or two about Hollywood.

He knows he'll have to act better if the Boston Celtics are going to avoid getting into a quick two-game hole in their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Miami Heat.

A day after being ejected from Boston's Game 1 loss, Pierce acknowledged that his actions were "selfish" and that he needed to do a better job keeping his composure. Nonetheless, he still believes he was more victim than aggressor during the two plays in which he got technical fouls that sent him to the locker room with seven minutes left in Miami's 99-90 win.

Game 2 is Tuesday, and Pierce isn't sure if the physicality both teams offered Sunday would carry over.

"This is not a movie or a script," Pierce said. "It's hard to really say what's going to happen game in, game out."

The Heat don't necessarily agree with that.

They think they know exactly what's coming Tuesday - a much better effort from the Celtics. Boston missed 20 of its first 26 shots in Game 1, never got Kevin Garnett rolling offensively and had Rajon Rondo limited by foul trouble. Even after all that misfortune, the Celtics had their chances to recover from what was once a 19-point hole in Game 1.

"We're physical teams, we're defensive-minded teams, play a similar style of basketball and it's the playoffs," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "That's all it is. We're not overblowing the physicality part of it. We're not trying to be somebody we're not. They're not trying to be anyone they're not. ... We know what our tenets are."

Pierce spoke to reporters Monday for the first time since the ejection. He was not available Sunday night, after he clashed with James Jones with 7:59 remaining following a hard foul, then exchanged words with Dwyane Wade 59 seconds later after the Heat guard ran into his screen. Double-technicals were called after both plays, and Pierce's ejection was automatic on the second.

What Wade and Jones did that hurt Boston most had nothing to do with the two plays that ended Pierce's night. They combined for 63 points on 19-for-28 shooting from the field and an 18-for-19 combined performance from the foul line. Those numbers made LeBron James' 22-point, six-rebound, five-assist statline seem quiet by comparison.

James knows a 1-0 lead against Boston is not enough. When he was with Cleveland a year ago, the Cavaliers had both 1-0 and 2-1 series leads over the Celtics in the East semis.

Undeterred, Boston won in six games - a decision that still stings James.

"We're naturally confident," James said, "but you never get too high or too low in a playoff series. It's one game. Series is not won in one game."

 
 

 

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