A few days ago the Miami Heat were sitting pretty. After coming off a Game 2 overtime win, the Heat was in the driver’s seat. But only for the time being. After Sunday’s overtime win, the Boston Celtics have evened the series at 2-2. But they have more than just momentum. They have life and a shooter who might be coming out of a playoff-long slump.
This might seem like a silly comparison, but Boston and fires have something in common: put them out before they become a problem. After Wednesday’s Game 2 loss, Boston was all but done, only an ember, barely hanging on, grasping for air so it could keep on burning. It made it through the trip back to Boston and the winds picked up on Friday, giving it a new life and turning in back into a fire. Sunday, the Heat fire department had another opportunity to put this fire out.
Unfortunately, they didn’t bring enough water. LeBron James fouled-out of his first playoff game and Dwyane Wade missed a what-would-have-been game-winning three-pointer. The Heat fell to the Celtics, 93-91 in overtime. Rajon Rondo had 15 points and 15 assists, Kevin Garnett had 17 points and 14 rebounds, and Paul Pierce finished with 23 before fouling out. Besides all the great numbers put up by those players, someone was missing. He had been missing for most of the playoffs due to bone spurs in his ankle. But, like the wind that helps a fire spread, he came around. Ray Allen finished with 16 points, despite shooting 6-16 from the field. But he got the ball rolling early, hit a couple first-quarter three-pointers and helped Boston jump out to a lead that grew to as much as 18 points.
James and company would battle back though, taking the lead in the fourth quarter, only to lose the lead late in the quarter. With the game in the balance, James drove the basketball but was met by three Celtic defenders near the top of the key. James jumped into the air, threw an errant bounce-pass to Udonis Haslem, who proceeded to throw up an air-ball as the buzzer sounded.
Only six points were scored in the overtime, four by Boston and two by Miami.
I can’t describe what I saw in tonight’s game. Everyone was playing hard, especially Boston’s Mickael Pietrus, who played tough defense and had some timely offensive rebounds. Rondo and James were spectacular. There were big shots, stops, and fouls. The overtime period was poorly managed though, by both teams. Erik Spoelstra didn’t run any offensive sets and, thus, his team was able to score. Doc Rivers kept running pick-and-rolls with Rondo and Garnett, which the Heat defended well.
In the end, Boston made enough plays to win the game to tie the series. Now it’s best-of-three, and I can promise you that these next two “for sure” games will be entertaining and nail-biting.
The Heat is on Miami, though.
I bet they wish they could have put out the fire when they had the chance.
Only YOU can prevent forest fires!
- Celtics stand and deliver against Heat (boston.com)