Behind a triple-double effort by point guard Rajon Rondo, the Boston Celtics knotted their series with the Cleveland Cavaliers at 2-2.
Rondo tabbed 29 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists as the Celtics rebounded from an embarrassing Game 3 loss, defeating the Cavaliers 97-87 on Sunday afternoon.
It was a playoff best for the point guard in rebounding, as he was a small force on the glass.
“He was absolutely sensational tonight,” remarked Boston head coach Doc Rivers after the game.
The Celtics got a well rounded effort from the starters when they had to have it. Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen each put up 18 points on the day.
On the other side of the court, LeBron James scored only 22 points, and was very upset with his shooting throughout the afternoon. Center Shaquille O’Neal scored 17 points.
The third member of the Big-3 for the Celtics, Paul Pierce struggled on the day, tabbing only nine points, but it was enough for Boston to get the series even.
Rondo took care of the rest.
“I just wanted to continue to attack,” Rondo said after the game. “That’s how we got the lead at first.”
He spearheaded a 10-0 fourth quarter run to begin to final period that propelled the Celtics to a comfortable lead.
“I think it starts with Rondo. He’s kind of the engine that really gets them going,” James said after the game. “He does everything for them. His performance was unbelievable.
“Rondo was definitely the difference maker.”
The Cavaliers responded with a 10-0 run of their own the drew the game to 86-84. They would get no closer however, as the Celtics went on a small run, capped off by a Pierce dunk to send the game to 92-85.
Game 5 will be a crucial game for both teams to try and get it to an elimination game forcing their opponent to win or go home.
Both teams will look to improve on their field goal shooting, as neither surpass 45 percent on the night. The 3-point shooting of both teams was even worse, as Cleveland shot 19 percent from beyond the arc, while Boston was seven percent, making on one.
Boston tripled Cleveland in the offensive rebounding department, while played a critical role in the outcome.
“Boston was more aggressive and we have to try and do it for 48 minutes,” said Cleveland coach Mike Brown. “The most aggressive team is going to win.”
Online Sportsbooks have installed the Cavaliers as second in the line of betting favorites to win the 2010 NBA Championship, behind the defending champion L.A Lakers, and tied with Eastern Conference Champion Orlando Magic.