Even without Kevin Garnett, the Boston Celtics beat the Miami Heat.
With the good-humored but hard-playing Glen Davis filling in while the Celtics’ emotional leader served a one-game suspension, Boston rolled to a 106-77 home victory Tuesday night that Miami coach Erik Spoelstra called “embarrassing.”
It gave the Celtics a 2-0 lead in their playoff series and Davis a chance to reprise the nickname he hung on himself last year when he replaced the injured Garnett — known as the “Big Ticket” — in all 14 playoff games.
“The ‘Ticket Stub’ came,” Davis said. “Whenever they need the ‘Ticket Stub,’ he’ll be there.”
Davis had 23 points and eight rebounds, and Ray Allen heated up in the third quarter and scored 25 points. Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 29.
With Garnett serving a suspension for elbowing Quentin Richardson in Game 1, Davis started and went aggressively to the basket to grab missed shots and draw fouls.
“That’s a case of one man impacting the game simply with his effort. I don’t think they ran one play for him,” Spoelstra said. “You cannot let a man’s effort exceed yours. It’s as simple as that.”
The Heat took a 29-25 lead on a dunk by Jermaine O’Neal. But the Celtics used a 44-8 surge over the next 161/2 minutes to go ahead 69-37 with 5:38 left in the third quarter, capped by one of Allen’s five 3-pointers in the period.
“Once the ball started moving and we started getting multiple stops, we were off and running,” Boston coach Doc Rivers said.
The Celtics led by 25 to 33 points the rest of the way.
“Once we opened up Glen Davis (offensively), I thought they started to sink in a little bit more and it opened up Ray,” Boston’s Paul Pierce said.
“This is an embarrassing loss,” Spoelstra said.
At Suns 119, Trail Blazers 90: Jason Richardson scored 29 points, Grant Hill made 10-of-11 shots for 20, and Phoenix rediscovered its high-energy game in a rout of Portland to square their first-round playoff series at one game apiece.
Unlike Game 1, Steve Nash pushed the Suns to their preferred tempo from the start and finished with 13 points and 16 assists. Amare Stoudemire scored 18. None of the Suns’ starters played in the fourth quarter.
Seattle Prep grad Martell Webster led the Blazers with 16 points. Andre Miller was limited to 12 after getting 31 in Portland’s 105-100 victory on Sunday night. Nicolas Batum also scored 12 before leaving with a right shoulder strain at the end of the third quarter.
At Hawks 96, Bucks 86: Joe Johnson took control in the fourth quarter to finish off a 27-point effort, Josh Smith finished one assist shy of a triple-double and Atlanta ran away from pesky but outmanned Milwaukee.
The Hawks took care of business on their home court. They’ll head to Milwaukee on Saturday night with a commanding 2-0 lead, the first time they’ve won the first two in a best-of-seven series since 1970.