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The four best flareups in Celtics-Heat rivalry

These Eastern Conference foes have plenty of history.

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Sunday's scuffle between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat was far from the first time tempers have flared between these Eastern Conference foes.

The rivalry was established in 2010, the first year Boston and Miami met up in the NBA playoffs. Since then, they've faced off in six postseason series, including four of the last five. Those matchups have helped to make C's vs. Heat one of the league's most entertaining rivalries.

There are plenty of tense moments to choose from, but our Chris Forsberg narrowed them down to four of the greatest flareups in Celtics-Heat history:

2010 - Kevin Garnett suspended after elbowing Quentin Richardson

Tensions boiled over near the end of Game 1 of the 2010 Eastern Conference first-round series. After Paul Pierce went down with a shoulder injury, Kevin Garnett went to check on his teammate and took exception to Miami's Quentin Richardson being in the vicinity. They jawed back and forth at one another, leading to a scrum that got violent.

During the fracas, Garnett elbowed Richardson in the face. The C's star was suspended for Game 2 as a result. Here's what he had to say after the incident:

“I just thought Q was standing over him, you know, talking nonsense, and I just asked him to give him some room," Garnett said. "And before you know it, just mayhem started, you know? With that situation, man, I know these two have competed against each other in the past and they have history for bumping heads a little bit. But I’m a vet, I gotta use my head, but only thing I saw was Paul hurt and that’s the only thing I cared about at that time.”

The Celtics went on to win the series relatively easily, 4-1. They'd fall to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals in seven games.

From there, the C's-Heat rivalry only grew.

"It just laid the foundation for what was about to come," Forsberg said of Garnett's elbow during Celtics PostUp.

2011 - Dwyane Wade (intentionally?) injures Rajon Rondo

Another chapter was added to the Celtics-Heat rivalry during the 2011 Eastern Conference Semifinals -- the first postseason battle between these two teams during Miami's "Big 3" era.

C's guard Rajon Rondo got tangled up with Miami star Dwyane Wade and injured his arm while falling to the floor. To this day, Rondo believes Wade may have tried to hurt him on the play.

"That particular play. Like I said it was kind of a freak accident," Rondo said on an episode of the View From the Rafters podcast. "We were teammates after that so it's no bad blood. But I think broke it on purpose or tried. You know, he's a competitor."

Rondo avoided serious injury and returned to the court, but the Heat went on to defeat the C's in five games. They'd make it to the Finals and fall to the Dallas Mavericks in six games.

2012 - Kevin Garnett gives Ray Allen the cold shoulder

Ray Allen went from being beloved in Boston to public enemy No. 1 in 2012. The 2008 NBA champion joined forces with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh in Miami -- the Celtics' top rival at the time.

This didn't sit well with Kevin Garnett, who gave his ex-teammate the cold shoulder when he attempted to shake his hand in their first meeting since Allen's departure.

"This is one of my favorite moments," Forsberg said. "This is when, you know, their 'Big 3' vs. the Celtics' new-look 'Big 3' where Rondo sort of elevates to the other guy in Ray's place. But the fact that Ray went there, we know, it took a long time for that little thing to thaw. Probably until Kevin Garnett's jersey retirement. I love that this took it to another level."

2013 - Danny Ainge vs. Pat Riley

Last but certainly not least, we had an off-the-court beef between then-Celtics president Danny Ainge and Heat president Pat Riley.

During a radio appearance, Ainge called out LeBron James for complaining. Riley responded in a not-so-kind statement.

"Danny Ainge needs to shut the f--- up and manage his own team," Riley said. "He was the biggest whiner going when he was playing and I know that because I coached against him."

Ainge fired back with a shot of his own.

"I don't want to mess up his Armani suits and all that hair goop," he said. "It would be way too expensive for me."

Oh, the drama!

Unfortunately, the C's and Heat didn't meet again in the postseason until 2020. But even in the post-Big 3 era, the rivalry remains very much alive to this day.

Watch Forsberg and Abby Chin break down these four C's-Heat flareups in the video above.

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