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NBA HIGHLIGHTS: LeBron torrid with 31 points, but Heat flames out vs. Celtics

Updated: November 5, 2010 2:54PM



LeBron James and the Miami Heat were showered with chants of ''overrated!'' They sure looked that way in their debut as a team formed to win a championship.

The old Big Three of the Boston Celtics, playing under the franchise's 17 title banners, beat the new Big Three of James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh 88-80 on Tuesday night in Boston.

The Heat, though, knew it would take time to jell.

''This is one of 82,'' Wade said. ''Sorry if everyone thought we were going to go 82 and 0. It just ain't happening.''

Celtics coach Doc Rivers is convinced the Heat will progress into a championship contender.

''They're going to be great,'' he said.

Not yet, though. Wade and Bosh weren't even all that good on opening night.

James scored 31 points, but Wade was limited to 13 points on 4-of-16 shooting and Bosh added eight points and eight rebounds. The trio combined for 15 of the Heat's 17 turnovers -- eight by James, six by Wade and one by Bosh.

''Right now it's a feel-out process for myself, for D-Wade, for Chris and for the rest of the guys,'' James said.

Tuesday's decision went to the Celtics behind 20 points from Ray Allen, 19 from Paul Pierce and 10 points and 10 rebounds from Kevin Garnett. Shaquille O'Neal, James' teammate last season, had nine points and seven rebounds for Boston.Lakers ring up opener

The Los Angeles Lakers raised their 2010 championship banner, gave rings to nine returning players and coach Phil Jackson, then turned back the Houston Rockets 112-110 in Los Angeles.

Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 29 points and 11 rebounds. Kobe Bryant had 27 points and 11 assists.Blazers turn back Suns

Nicolas Batum scored 19 points, making three three-pointers down the stretch, and had 11 rebounds to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 106-92 season-opening victory over the Phoenix Suns in Portland, Ore.

Brandon Roy scored 24 points for the Blazers, who fell to the Suns in the first round of the playoffs last season. Steve Nash had 26 points for the Suns.

AP



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