Celtics cool Heat to open 2-0 series lead

BOSTON (Reuters) - The Boston Celtics thrived despite the absence of Kevin Garnett and took command of their first-round playoff series with an emphatic 106-77 victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday.

In Boston, forward Glen Davis moved into the starting lineup in place of the suspended Garnett and produced 23 points and eight rebounds to help the Celtics breeze to a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Veteran guard Ray Allen added 25 points and made seven three-pointers for Boston, who took a stranglehold on the game in the second quarter when they scored 21 straight points.

The Heat closed within 14 in the third before the Celtics notched another 18 consecutive points to put the contest out of reach.

Dwyane Wade scored 29 for the Heat, who blew a 14-point lead in Saturday's 85-76 loss in Game One.

Miami were always behind in the re-match, however, shooting just 38 percent and pulling down only 33 rebounds to Boston's 50.

The teams travel to Miami for Game Three on Friday.

"It will be a good test for us," Boston coach Doc Rivers told reporters. "We can't focus on what the series is right now. We haven't been good at that. We have not been."

In Atlanta, the Hawks also grabbed a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference series with a 96-86 win over the Bucks.

Joe Johnson scored 27 points while Josh Smith had 21, 14 rebounds and nine assists as the Hawks took control of the first-round matchup with Game Three to be played in Milwaukee on Saturday.

In the Western Conference, Kobe Bryant scored 15 of his game-high 39 points in the fourth quarter to help the Lakers edge the Thunder 95-92.

The defending champion Lakers took a 2-0 series lead despite Kevin Durant's 32 points for the Thunder, who missed a three-point attempt as time expired.

In Phoenix, the Suns raced to a 119-90 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers to even their series at 1-1.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien)