#4 BOSTON CELTICS 79 @ #2 MIAMI HEAT 93
EAST Finals * Game 1 * Heat lead series, 1-0
Boston got off to a terrible start. LeBron James put a stamp on this game early by scoring 13 first quarter points, outscoring the entire Celtics team by 2. Miami led, 21-11, in the first half.
But Boston came back in the second quarter. The Celtics took much better care of the ball and kept chipping away on the lead. They eventually scored a 35-point second quarter and, after a Joel Anthony lay-up was taken away due to the shotclock expiring, the teams were tied at 46 at the half.
The game escaped the Celtics by the end of the third quarter. Shane Battier was having one hell of a defensive game against Paul Pierce. The Miami supporting cast was hitting shots (Mario Chalmers, James Jones, Battier). The Heat pushed the lead to 13 near the end of the third and they never looked back after that.
I'm not one to talk about the officials but they did one hell of a job taking over the show in the second quarter. It did slow down the game which Boston wanted but, as fans of the game, you never ever want to see the officials become the stars of the show. I'm really not a big fan of the delay of the game and the technical fouls that were handed to the Celtics left and right.
The Heat killed the Celtics on the boards, 48-33. So much for Boston small ball working out to the Celtics' favor, right?
Also of note is Ray Allen missing foul shots. He went 3 for 7 earlier tonight and we know that he's pretty broken down at the moment.
But it was nice to see guys like Battier (10 points and 10 boards... and once again, awesome defense against Pierce), Chalmers (9 points), and Mike Miller (8 points) step up and help out the shorthanded Heat. Battier missed a ton of wide-open threes and he needs to knock those down in future games to put away the Celtics early.
The Celtics are doing what they can to make the Heat into a jumpshooting team. But once the pace picks up for the Heat, it's pretty hard to stop them. Boston is going to do everything they can to slow the game into a snail's pace and lull them to sleep, Ben Stein-style.
James was magnificent as usual, finishing with 32 points and 13 boards. Dwyane Wade had 22 points and 7 assists. Boston was led by the continuning resurgence of Kevin Garnett (23 points and 10 rebounds) but it wasn't nearly enough. Rajon Rondo had a 16-9-7 line. Pierce shot a horrid 5/18 for 12 points and Allen was even worse with 1/7 shooting. He had a measly 6 points.
I am still waiting for that weird thing to happen in this Eastern Conference Finals. Stay tuned.
Thunder/Spurs today! Don't miss it.