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Champion Miami Heat rings up a victory over Boston Celtics in opener | NBA
Dwyane Wade scored 29 points, LeBron James finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds while missing much of the second half because of cramps in both legs, and the reigning NBA champion Miami Heat beat the Boston Celtics 120-107 in the season opener for both teams.
MIAMI — LeBron James got cramps, Ray Allen was snubbed and Dwyane Wade was steaming.
None of that spoiled the Miami Heat mood on ring night.
Wade scored 29 points, James finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds while missing much of the second half because of cramps in both legs, and the reigning NBA champion Heat beat the Boston Celtics 120-107 Tuesday night in the season opener for both teams.
There were actual fireworks before the game to close the ceremony where the Heat got its championship rings and raised its title banner. There also were plenty of figurative fireworks late, first with Boston almost digging out of a 19-point hole and, after the outcome was decided, Rajon Rondo flagrantly fouling Wade by wrapping his arms around his neck on a drive.
"The league will take care of it," Wade said. "He clotheslined me, with two hands."
In the end, the first Celtics-Heat matchup of this season was like Game 7 of last season's Eastern Conference finals — with Miami winning.
Ex-Sonic Allen scored 19 points — needing a mere seven field-goal attempts — in his first game with Miami since leaving Boston over the summer. Chris Bosh had 19 points and 10 rebounds for Miami.
Boston's Paul Pierce had 23 points and Rondo added 20 points and 13 assists.
"I thought they were the aggressor the whole game," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said.
Miami held on even while James, last season's most valuable player of both the regular season and NBA Finals, was in the locker room for the second time because of the cramps, first in his right leg and then his left.
"It's not an all-the-time thing," James said. "I'm not too worried about it."
As Allen entered the game for the first time, he trotted toward the Boston bench, exchanging a handshake, embrace and a few words with Rivers, who hasn't hidden his displeasure about his former shooting guard's decision to sign with Miami.
But when Allen tried to engage ex-teammate Kevin Garnett, the mutual pleasantries ended. Allen tapped Garnett on the shoulder as he sat on the Boston bench. Garnett didn't flinch, staring ahead, refusing to acknowledge the gesture.
Lakers lose again
LOS ANGELES — Darren Collison scored 17 points and the Dallas Mavericks spoiled the Lakers debuts of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash with a 99-91 victory over Los Angeles.
Kobe Bryant scored 22 points while playing on an injured right foot for the Lakers, who were 0-8 in the exhibition season — when their starting five seldom played together because of injuries.
Six-time All-Star Howard had 19 points and 10 rebounds while missing 11 of 14 free throws before fouling out with 2:02 to play. Two-time league MVP Nash had seven points and four assists as the Lakers lost their opener for the fourth time in the last 21 years.
"It's not the way we wanted it to go," said Pau Gasol, who led the Lakers with 23 points and 13 rebounds. "We know it's not going to happen for us right away, but we've just got to stick with it."
• Kyrie Irving scored 29 points, Anderson Varejao had a career-high 23 rebounds and the host Cleveland Cavaliers opened the season with a 94-84 victory over the Washington Wizards.
• Forward-center Amare Stoudemire's troublesome knee is causing increasing headaches for the New York Knicks.
What was originally described as a sore left knee and later called a ruptured cyst has turned out to be more complicated. Stoudemire will need surgery, team officials said, and he will be out from six to eight weeks.
• Denver point guard Ty Lawson, 24, signed a four-year, $48 million contract extension.
• The Sacramento Kings have settled a lawsuit over an exercise ball the team says exploded and injured a player. The Sacramento Bee reported the settlement was reached with Italian manufacturer Ledraplastic.
Roger Dreyer, the attorney who represented the team and injured swingman Francisco Garcia, told the newspaper the settlement amount was confidential.
The Kings and Garcia claimed the ball exploded in October 2009 while Garcia was balancing on it and lifting weights, causing injuries that included a broken forearm.
• Perhaps the most anticipated Brooklyn sports event in a half-century — the Nets' debut at $1 billion Barclays Center against the Knicks — will unfold as planned Thursday night, despite lingering concerns in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.