28-10-2010 12:17 AM
By Jeff Zillgitt
BOSTON -- The hottest North American tour opened here Tuesday, and it was, as expected, a rock show, with the Threetles -- Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh -- drawing big crowds.
But by the time they tipped off the 2010-11 NBA season against the Boston Celtics, the Miami Heat had no rhythm. They scored nine points in the first quarter, rallied in the second half as James scored 21 of his 31 points but lost to the defending Eastern Conference champion Celtics 88-80.
With Wade in the starting lineup in sold-out TD Garden, it was the first time the much-trumpeted trio had played together since he strained his right hamstring in the preseason opener.
The new-look Heat seemed a lot like James' previous team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, who relied on their two-time league MVP every game. It was the same Tuesday, with the crowd frequently chanting "Over-rated. Wade had 13 points and Bosh eight.
*Wade, James and Bosh shot a combined 35.4%.
*The Heat's first-quarter points were three fewer than their lowest quarter all last season, and their 30 first-half points were two fewer than their lowest half last season. The offense will come. It just didn't come tonight like we wanted it. That's the least of our worries," Wade said.
*James and Wade tallied 14 of the Heat's 17 turnovers.
We have so many options. It's something I'm not accustomed to, having that many threats on the court," James said. A lot of it (turnovers) was just being too unselfish.
As much as the Heat struggled offensively, they trailed 83-80 with 1:10 left in the fourth quarter. But Boston, which once led by 19, got a Ray Allen three-pointer and two Paul Pierce free throws.
*The two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers got their rings, then rallied from a 15-point deficit for a 112-110 win vs. the Houston Rockets. Houston center Yao Ming, in his first game in a year after foot surgery, had nine points and 11 rebounds.