Celtics score OT win in Game 4: 3 things we learned
Three things we learned in the Celtics narrow 93-91 win in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Miami:
OT in the ECF
Both the Celtics and Heat botched their last possessions to take a lead in the final minute of regulation, so to overtime they went. Within seconds, Paul Pierce (23 points) was called for his sixth foul, taking him out of the game for good.
Boston’s offense stalled early in OT, but so did Miami’s. LeBron James fouled out for the first time in a Heat uniform with 1:51 left on the clock and the Celtics up 92-91. After a Shane Battier miss and loose ball foul on Marquis Daniels, the C’s inbounded the ball to Rajon Rondo – who went 1 of 2 from the line. Dwyane Wade had a clean look at a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer, but the shot missed. The C’s escaped with a 93-91 win, and we’re all tied at two games.
Offense has generally been hard to come by for the Boston Celtics, but it has seemed to pick up as of late against the Heat.
In the first half of Game 4, it looked to be at or near its best. The Celtics dropped 61 points on the Heat in the first half, taking a 14-point lead into the third quarter. They shot 49 percent from the field, with Pierce leading the way at 18 points in that half. The Heat shot roughly one percentage point less than the C’s, but still found themselves in a double-digit hole.
Kevin Garnett (17 points, 14 rebounds) was active throughout for Boston.
That first-quarter success that the Celtics had? Forget about it. It was the Heat that came out in the third quarter looking as if they knew it was a big Game 4. Miami outscored Boston 21-12 in the third quarter, taking most of the momentum with them into the fourth.
Pierce and Rondo (15 points, 15 assists) ran into foul trouble, which meant more time for the bench. Mickael Pietrus had a chance to put the C’s up 10 points with under a minute to play, but he missed both free throws. Dwyane Wade made him pay on the ensuing possession, draining a 3-pointer to make it a five-point game going into the fourth.