Davis, in place of Garnett, sparks Celtics

Posted April 21, 2010, at 12 a.m.

BOSTON —The Boston Celtics didn’t miss Kevin Garnett at all, not the way Glen Davis filled in to lead them to a 106-77 victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday night and a 2-0 lead in their playoff series.

With Garnett serving a one-game suspension for elbowing Quentin Richardson in Game 1, Davis started and had 23 points and eight rebounds, going aggressively to the basket to grab missed shots and draw fouls.

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 16½ minutes to go ahead 69-37, capped by one of Ray Allen’s five 3-pointers in the third quarter. Allen led the Celtics with 25 points, while Dwyane Wade scored 29 for the Heat.

Game 3 is Friday night in Miami.

Tempers stayed under control throughout the game, just three days after a skirmish with 40 seconds left in Boston’s 85-76 victory led to Garnett’s suspension without pay and Richardson’s $25,000 fine. Garnett was hovering over teammate Paul Pierce, who had fallen near the Miami bench after hurting his shoulder.

Garnett held off Richardson as he came up from behind. They then exchanged words before the elbow hit the Heat forward in the face.

Garnett wasn’t allowed in TD Garden, but made a prerecorded appearance on the scoreboard above midcourt during a timeout after the Celtics scored 19 straight points to take a 44-29 lead with 2:56 left in the first half.

He encouraged the fans and when the scoreboard followed with a “Let’s Get Loud” message, they raised their voices.

Richardson was booed almost every time he touched the ball.

In the opener, the Heat led 61-47 with 7:03 left in the third quarter. Then Boston outscored them 34-10 to go ahead 81-71 with 1:46 to go in the game.

The Celtics started their spurt a lot earlier Tuesday.

Trailing by four after O’Neal’s dunk with 10:10 left in the second quarter, Boston got started on a 3-pointer by Michael Finley. It took the lead for good on a 3-pointer by Allen.

Then rarely used Shelden Williams, substituting for Davis, hit a field goal. Davis made two straight baskets, Allen connected on another 3-pointer, Pierce sank two free throws and Allen got a layup. Davis followed with two free throws, giving the Celtics 21 straight points.

Miami finally broke through on a 21-foot jumper by Michael Beasley. That made it 46-31 with 2:07 left in the half.

The Celtics have won the last three games they played against the Heat without Garnett. And Davis has proven to be a very capable replacement.

When Garnett, known as the “Big Ticket,” missed last year’s playoffs with a knee injury, Davis called himself the “Ticket Stub.” He proved to be a very capable replacement, playing in all 14 games and averaging 15.8 points and 5.6 rebounds.

The Heat did accomplish one goal, cutting down on their 22 turnovers in the opener. They had just 13 Tuesday.

NOTES: Miami coach Erik Spoelstra wanted his team to be more aggressive but, in the first half, the Heat had just one offensive rebound and took just four free throws while Boston tried 16. … Pierce and Richardson scored the first two baskets of the game. … The Celtics are 5-0 against the Heat this season.

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