MIAMI -- LeBron James got his ring, then got cramps.
The Miami Heat found a way to beat their biggest rival anyway.
Dwyane Wade scored 29 points, James finished 26 points and 10 rebounds while missing much of the second half, and the reigning NBA champion Heat beat the Boston Celtics 120-107 on Tuesday night in the season opener for both teams.
Ray Allen, in his first game with Miami since leaving Boston over the summer, added 19 points for the Heat, as did Chris Bosh, who had a late flurry that helped Miami prevail.
Rashard Lewis scored 10 for Miami, which saw a 19-point lead trimmed to four in the final minutes before finding a way to close it out -- even while James, last season’s MVP of both the regular season and NBA Finals, was in the locker room for the second time because of the cramps.
Paul Pierce scored 23 points, Rajon Rondo finished with 20 points and 13 assists, and Leandro Barbosa scored 16 for Boston. The Celtics, who lost to the Heat in last season’s Eastern Conference finals, were not on the court for the ring ceremony.
They almost wrecked the festive mood with a late comeback.
An 11-2 run late in the fourth quarter got Boston within 111-107 on Courtney Lee’s layup with 2:09 left. That was the last Celtics’ hurrah -- Bosh scored the game’s next seven points, sealing it for Miami.
More fireworks came at the finish -- Rondo was called for a flagrant foul
As Allen entered the game for the first time, he trotted toward the Boston bench, exchanging a handshake, embrace and a few words with Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who hasn’t hidden his displeasure about his former shooting guard’s decision to sign with Miami. Allen then briskly shook hands with a few assistant coaches.
But when Allen tried to engage Kevin Garnett, the mutual pleasantries ended. Allen tapped Garnett on the shoulder as he sat on the Boston bench; Garnett didn’t even flinch, staring straight ahead, refusing to acknowledge the gesture in any way.
Allen didn’t seem flustered. His first shot in a Miami uniform was -- what else? -- a corner 3-pointer, which swished.
Miami controlled much of the first half, taking a 62-54 lead after James went by Pierce and Garnett for a two-handed dunk and yell for the crowd.