MIAMI — LeBron James scored 26 points, rookie point guard Norris Cole came up with 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, and the Miami Heat nearly blew a 20-point lead before beating the Boston Celtics 115-107 on Tuesday night.
Dwyane Wade finished with 24 points and eight assists for Miami, which got 18 from Chris Bosh and twice saw its lead cut to three in the final minutes. Cole delivered the answer both times with a pair of jump shots, and the Heat escaped.
Ray Allen scored 28 points on 8 for 12 shooting for the Celtics, while Rajon Rondo finished with 22 points and 12 assists and Keyon Dooling scored 13 off the Boston bench.
Through two games, Miami (2-0) has trailed only once – by two points, for all of 14 seconds.
BUCKS 98, TIMBERWOLVES 95
In Milwaukee, rookie Jon Leuer converted a three-point play with 1:17 left, helping Milwaukee hold off Minnesota in its home opener.
Brandon Jennings scored 24 points and Stephen Jackson added 16 for the Bucks.
Kevin Love had 31 points and 20 rebounds for the Timberwolves, whose late rally came up just short.
Minnesota was without coach Rick Adelman, who was attending funeral services for his mother-in-law. Assistant Terry Porter, a former head coach in Milwaukee, filled in for Adelman.
Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio had six points and four assists in 27-plus minutes. Rubio had six assists in his NBA debut Monday, making a handful of spectacular passes in transition.
Milwaukee led by 10 after a pair of free throws by Jennings, but Luke Ridnour hit a long jumper and Michael Beasley hit a 3-pointer to cut the Bucks’ lead to 94-89 with just under three minutes left.
Andrew Bogut fouled out with 2:08 left, sending Love to the line. He hit one of two free throws to cut the lead to four.
After a miss by Jennings, Beasley hit a jumper to cut the lead to two with 1:42 left.
Leuer completed a three-point play and put the Bucks up 97-92 with 1:17 left.