“Red wasn’t going to let that go in. Not in the Boston Garden,” Doc Rivers said of former coach Red Auerbach.
If you didn’t watch the game, Rivers was referring to Dwyane Wade’s last second three-point attempt in OT that would have given the Miami Heat a 94-93 victory. “It was a good look. It was online but didn’t want to go in,” Wade said. “Got the shot off I wanted and that is all you can ask for.”
Yes, Wade may have gotten off the shot that he wanted, but it was also the shot that many Celtics fans wanted too. Wade, historically, is a terrible 3pt shooter for a shooting guard. This season he shot only 26.8% from behind the arc and was also under 30% for this post-season.
From the perspective of many watching the game, it should have never gotten to be that close in the first place. The Celtics had a 14 point lead going into halftime. “Our execution in the first half was flawless,” Rivers said. “It was as good as maybe we’ve had. And then we just got away from it.”
The contrast between halves was stark; the Celtics scored more points in the first quarter than they did in the second half altogether. When asked at the end of the 2nd quarter what was working for Boston, Rondo fired a shot at the visitors, saying in his televised interview with ESPN’s Doris Burke that they were taking advantage of the Heat “complaining and crying to the referees in transition.”
“What I said was true,” Rondo told Burke. “I don’t take back what I said. That’s what it is.”
Down the stretch, fouls became an integral part of the game. Paul Pierce and LeBron James both fouled out within short time of each other and forced both coaches to rely on reserves for key minutes as well as alter their play calling strategy. Once Pierce fouled out, Pietrus came in and drew the 6th foul on LeBron and grabbed 2 offensive rebounds late in OT to prolong a Celtics possession and wipe time off of the clock. Rivers went nearly entirely to the 1-4 PnR offense with Rondo and KG. Though it wasn’t pretty, it resulted in a Rondo layup with 2:34 remaining and a Rondo free throw with 21 seconds left, the last two buckets of the game.
If the Celtics had lost, it would have been, in all likelihood, the last home game for the trio of Allen, Pierce and Garnett. With the win, the era stays alive and the Celtics find themselves in a position to steal Game 5 and go home to close out the series.
Bosh missed his ninth straight game with a lower abdominal strain. Spoelstra said his status is still out indefinitely but sources told ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst that Bosh will return for Game 5, barring any setbacks.
- No Sweep for the Heat, Celtics take Game 3 (theesposito.com)
- Rondo provides Herculean effort but Celtics fall to Heat in OT (theesposito.com)