"I believed we were going to win the game before the game. I thought we were going to win the game during the game. And I thought we should have won the game," Rivers said. "I give them credit. They made some spectacular plays."
Boston led by as many as 17 in the first half, but it was 103-all when Miami got the ball with 33 seconds left. James dribbled down the shot clock before putting up a jumper from the right wing to take the lead.
Green drove into the lane for Boston, but he was stuffed by Battier; the ball went out of bounds and, after replay, was given to the Celtics with 7.1 seconds remaining.
Courtney Lee found Pierce for an open 3-pointer, but it bounced long off the rim and Dwyane Wade, who scored 16, tipped the rebound to the corner and then grabbed it.
"No moral victories, even though it was a close game," Pierce said.
Green had 14 points in the first quarter, when the Celtics scored the last 17 points to open a 31-19 lead. Boston led by as many as 17 in the second, but Miami went on a 15-6 run just before the half to make it a six-point game and then scored the first eight points in the third quarter to take the lead.
Green had 12 in the second quarter and 12 in the third.
"He showed what he can do," Pierce said. "That was an example of it today."
Notes: James was called for a technical foul for taunting when he stood over Jason Terry after a dunk. It was James' sixth technical of the season and the 39th of his career. ... Pierce and Chalmers got involved in a minor scuffle when Pierce drew an offensive foul and Chalmers tried to grab the ball from him after the whistle.
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