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It's A Series! Celtics Tie It Up At 2
- Updated: June 4, 2012
The Celtics survived a Dwayne Wade missed three at the buzzer in overtime that would have won the game for the Heat and gave them a commanding 3-1 lead. Now, the series is going back to Miami Tuesday night. Instead the Celtics have tied the series at 2 and have a chance to take back home court advantage in game 5 with a win in South Beach. Doc Rivers explained after the game that the Celtics had a great 1st half and fell off in the 2nd half before overtime where Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett, Mickael and Pietrus took over. Going into Tuesday the Celtics need to stay out of foul trouble (Paul Pierce) and need to play a complete 48 minutes to take game 5. The Following from CSNNE.com
BOSTON — Another overtime game, a much different outcome for the Boston Celtics. A overtime loss in Game 4 at home last year put the Celtics in a playoff hole against the Heat that they couldn’t escape. But it was a much different result on Sunday, as the Celtics managed to hold on for a 93-91 overtime win against the Heat that ties the best-of-seven series at 2-2. Game 5 will be in Miami on Tuesday, with the winner of that having an opportunity to advance to the NBA Finals with a victory in Boston during Game 6 on Thursday. How close was it? Miami’s Dwyane Wade, who had 20 points on 7-for-22 shooting from the field, fired a step-back 3-pointer that rimmed in and out as time expired in overtime; had it fallen, the Heat would have had a commanding 3-1 series lead. Instead, it’s now a best-of-three. Rajon Rondo had yet another big-game performance for the C’s, scoring 15 points to go with 15 assists.
And Paul Pierce had 23 points before he fouled out in overtime. LeBron James, who led all scorers with 29 points, also fouled out with less than two minutes to play in overtime. Both teams had several opportunities, both in the fourth quarter and overtime, to take control of the game, only to see those efforts — much like many of their shots — come up short. The Celtics led by as many as 18 points, but found themselves in a nailbiter after a layup by James tied the game at 74-74 and, moments later, Norris Cole — yeah, Norris Cole — put the Heat ahead for the first time all night, 76-74, with a driving layup. Both teams continued to go back and fourth with neither establishing a strong sense of control. Miami was living at the free-throw line, but dying a slow death as it continued to clank one free throw after another. For the game, the Heat were 17-for-24. The C’s were even worse, connecting on only 14 of their 20 attempts (70 percent).
This game’s ending was a sharp contrast from its beginnings. The Celtics could not have scripted a better start to the game, with an 8-2 start followed by a 13-7 spurt that gave them a commanding 21-9 lead midway through the first quarter. With so much attention paid to Kevin Garnett coming in, the Big Ticket morphed into the Big Decoy as Pierce, Rondo and Brandon Bass combined for 27 of the C’s 34 first-quarter points. Bass finished with 11 points and 7 rebounds. But the Celtics are all about defense, and their defense was pretty good for long stretches – though probably not as good as coach Doc Rivers would have liked. For Celtics Nation, a 34-23 lead after the first quarter is something to feel good about. Rivers’ concerns probably stemmed from the fact that the Heat were still relatively close despite the Celtics outplaying them in just about every statistical category that mattered. Boston’s control didn’t let up in the second quarter, with the bench once again coming up with timely contributions.
Keyon Dooling hit a pair of 3-pointers early in the second quarter, and the C’s were able to maintain a double-digit cushion in part because of their ability to double-team Wade akin to what they did in their Game 3 win. Dooling finished with 10 of the Celtics’s 11 points off the bench. To put Wade’s first half in perspective, he had eight points on 2-for-11 shooting from the field. All five Boston starters had at least eight points scored at the half, which ended with the Celtics ahead, 61-47.