#4 BOSTON CELTICS 94 @ #2 MIAMI HEAT 90
EAST Finals * Game 5 * Celtics lead series, 3-2
Miami had a fast 7-0 start. Nearly everyone in Boston was shooting badly. They even had a 13-point lead early in the 2nd quarter. LeBron James was having a pretty beastly game.
Problem is that the rest of the Heat weren't shooting that well. Dwayne Wade had another bad start. And the Celtic defense kept Boston in the game. The Heat turned the ball over 11 times in the first half. Even though the Heat had Chris Bosh back (who came off the bench), that 13-point lead evaporated pretty quickly and Boston was only down, 42-40, after two quarters.
Kevin Garnett (who has played FANTASTIC in these playoffs) made a jumper that deadlocked the game at 50. But mental errors like Rondo throwing the ball into the backcourt unglued the Celtics for a bit. The Heat took advantage with a lightning 7-0 run.
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Boston slowed the game again and was great in getting the 50/50 balls when the action turned chaotic. Back-to-back threes by Mickael Pietrus and KEYON DOOLING gave Boston the lead entering the fourth quarter (their first lead after Pietrus's three), 65-60.
Then they had a frantic fourth quarter where each side made big shot after big shot. Rondo woke up with a couple of baskets. James Jones, LeBron, and Mario Chalmers made some huge three-pointers. Pietrus continued his wizardry behind the arc.
The Celtics were clinging to an 87-86 lead when Paul Pierce, who had been shooting badly all night, made a three over LeBron with 52 seconds left.
It became a freethrow shooting contest after that and after a desperation Wade 3, Boston stole Game 5 after I had predicted that the Heat would take it. I'm not very good at being Miss Cleo. Or Dionne Warwick.
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LeBron should be commended for a 30-point, 13-rebound performance. Wade overcame a bad start (though it seems like he's sleepwalking at times) and finished with 27 points. Nobody else from the Heat had double figures in points, though Udonis Haslem pulled down 14 rebounds.
KG led the Celtics with 26 points and 11 boards. You know how he gets down. Rondo finished with 7 points, 6 rebounds, and 13 assists. And that's his bad game. Pierce had a tough shooting game but he has a hell of a set for making that three-pointer late in the game. He finished with 19 points. Pietrus will probably always fall for pump fakes but he contributed largely with 13 points off the bench.
The Celtics seem to have the more inferior roster between these two squads. But the Celtics have the heart of the champion while the Heat seem to be taking for granted what they have: two of the best five players in the NBA right now. Boston knows what it takes to get it done while Miami... well... they're acting like this core has won a title before. And when the pressure cooker gets more intense, the Heat seem to wilt. Also, Bosh played okay for the little time (9 points, 7 rebounds in 12 minutes) he got; where was he in the fourth quarter when they needed another offensive option?
The Heat did outrebound the Celtics, 49-39, but the Celtics seem to have wanted it more. It's cliche but it's so true. Most of the 50/50 balls seem to have gone the Celtics' way and they played one hell of a defensive game. With a little bit more determination and luck in Game 5, the Celtics are one win away from their third finals in five years.