Celts Put The Heat On Miami, Take Game Five 94-90
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Grit and balls. That's what Kevin Garnett claims the Boston Celtics win with. Tuesday night in Miami, they showed plenty of that en route to a 94-90 in game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Miami Heat may be the more "in" team. They have LeBron James and Dwayne Wade. They play in Miami. The Boston Celtics aren't looking for style points. They aren't concerned about playing an aethstecially pleasing brand of basketball. They just want to win. And win they did.
Miami picked up where it left off in the second half of game 4 by playing solid defense against the Celtics. Boston managed just 16 first quarter points against the Heat and trailed 24-16 after one.
Boston also let the slow-starting Dwayne Wade get going early. Wade scored 7 points in the first 4 ½ minutes of the game. Fortunately for the Celtics, Wade finished the first half with only those 7 points.
Meanwhile, Boston struggled with Miami’s defense early on. And when they did manage to get some open looks at the basket, they couldn’t convert. Rajon Rondo missed a couple of lay-up’s while the rest of the team struggled to shoot the ball as well.
Miami also received a boost from the return of forward Chris Bosh. Bosh entered the game for the first time with just over 5 minutes to play in the first quarter and made an immediate impact. Bosh nailed a 9-foot jumper off the window over Greg Stiemsma with 2:18 to play in the first. A minute later he made a three point play the old fashioned way with a lay-up and a freethrow.
The disappointing part about that play was it came against Kevin Garnett who seemed a bit disinterested on the play. It was very uncharacteristic of the usually fiery and intense competitor that is Garnett. But that was just a momentary lapse from KG who would come up big, as he always seems to do.
Miami led by as many as 13 (31-18) in the first half, but Boston managed to hang around and trailed by only two at halftime 42-40. Boston’s defense was stellar in the second quarter holding Miami to just 18 points.
It was amazing that Boston was within two at halftime given the fact that Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo shot a combined 3 for 18 in the first 24 minutes.
Like he did in the first quarter, Wade came out hot to start the third nailing three quick buckets in the first 2+ minutes of the second half. And like they have for four of the five games in this series, the Heat looked like they might dominate the third quarter.
With the game tied at 50, Miami went on a 7-0 run forcing Doc Rivers to burn a timeout with 6:24 to play in the third. It would get up to a 59-50 lead when Boston battled back once again.
Back-to-back three’s by Mikael Pietrus and Keyon Dooling in the closing minute of the third quarter capped off a 15-1 run to give the Celts a 65-60 lead heading into the 4th quarter.
Miami clearly came out with a sense or urgency to start the 4th. Down 68-62, the Heat went on a 7-2 run to pull to within 2 forcing Rivers to burn another timeout.
Miami went up by 6, 78-72 but the never-say-die Celtics stayed the course making the clutch shots down the stretch.
The biggest shots were two three's by Mikael Pietrus and one by the captain Paul Pierce.
And now the Celtics can punch their ticket to the NBA Finals with a win in game 6 at the TD Garden Thursday night.
-Mikael Pietrus was HUGE for Boston in the win. Pietrus had 13 points including a couple of big three's.
-As great as he was in Boston's game 2 loss in Miami, Rajon Rondo (7 points, 13 assists, 6 rebounds) struggled shooting the ball in game 5 Tuesday night. Rondo went (3-15) from the field missing a number of lay-up's and short runners.
-While LeBron James continued his sensational play (30 points, 13 rebounds), Dwayne Wade (27 points) continued his inconsistent play. Wade score 7 points in the first few minutes of the first quarter and then remained scoreless for the remainder of the first half. He did have a better second half which has been the norm for him in the series.
-Paul Pierce didn't have the best shooting night for the Celtics. Pierce finished the game with 19 points but was just 6-19 from the field. But his 19th shot was the back-breaker for Miami as he drilled a three in the face of LeBron James with the shot clock winding down and only :52 seconds to play giving Boston a 90-86 lead.
-Kevin Garnett finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds and hit two big free throws with 8.8 seconds left to put Boston back up by 4.