Dwyane Wade put the Miami Heat team on his back in Game 4 of their opening round playoff series against the Boston Celtics, in a win-or-go-home situation.
Down 3-0 in the series heading into Game 4, Wade tabbed 46 points on the night, 30 of which came in the second half, and the Heat live to play another day.
Wade knocked down 16 of 24 shots from the floor, that included 5 of 7 from beyond the arc. Miami’s star outscored the entire Boston team in the fourth quarter, 19-15.
It caught the attention of both head coaches.
“Phenomenal,” remarked Celtics coach Doc Rivers.
“Greatness,” said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra.
Those sentiments echoed with Wade’s Heat teammates.
“Sometimes, you know, he puts on the cape, man,” Richardson said. “There’s not a lot of things you can do when he’s playing that way.”
Richardson added 20 points for the Heat, while Michael Beasley contributed 15. At one point the Heat had an 18-point advantage until the Celtics climbed their way back into the game.
Despite the loss however, Boston still controls a 3-1 series advantage over Miami, as the series shifts back to the Garden on Tuesday.
“They did what they were supposed to do, which is defend the home court,” remarked Celtics forward Kevin Garnett. “And now we’re thinking the same thing going back home.”
Rajon Rondo scored 23 points for the Celtics to lead them, with Garnett pulling in a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds. The scoring for the Celtics was very evenly dispersed, as Paul Pierce scored 16 points and Ray Allen tabbed 15.
“It’s not a big deal,” Rondo said in a post-game interview. “We just have to close it out now in five. We’re confident.”
While the Celtics remain confident, the performance by Wade should spark a renewed confidence in the Heat, who now know they can defeat Miami.
“I just thought, time to be aggressive,” Wade remarked in a post-game interview. “Very aggressive. So I was shooting all those shots, no matter what was going to happen. And I started to make a couple, so I got hot at the right time. Just wanted to will my team to this victory.”
It was the first time that Miami defeated Boston all season long, as the Celtics controlled a 6-0 advantage prior to Sunday.
Online Sportsbooks have little faith in the Heat, as they are installed at 300/1, while the Celtics are 14/1.