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Celtics Survive Fourth Quarter Scare; Lead Series 3-2

The Celtics had a large 17-point lead towards the end of the game, but it was far from over. The Detroit Pistons are not a team that can easily be counted out when there are still several minutes of basketball to be played, and they proved that. The Pistons provided quite the scare late in the fourth quarter and managed to get within one point of the Celtics’ lead. It was not enough though and the Celtics went on to win 106-102 to take a 3-2 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals. They are one win away from moving onto the NBA Finals for the first time since 1987.

This was a night for all the Celtics starters: the bench was only able to put three points on the scoreboard (thanks to a three pointer by James Posey). It was a game where the stars of the team needed to step up, and they did just that. Kevin Garnett led all scorers with 33 points tonight and grabbed seven rebounds. Ray Allen continued to emerge from his slump by having a huge night with 29 points and critical three pointers as well as a two in the final seconds of the game that helped secure the win. Rajon Rondo had seven points and made 13 assists. Paul Pierce added 16 points. But tonight, the starter that stood out from the rest was Kendrick Perkins.

Perk finished the night with 18 points, 16 rebounds, two steals, and two blocked shots. This game was great for Perkins and hopefully he continues to play with the intensity that he had in Game 5 in the upcoming few games. If the Celtics bench only produces a small amount again in Game 6, then Perkins and Rondo will need to step up and continue to play at a high level and give the “Big Three” the support they need to finish off the Pistons.

Detroit did get more support from their bench, but were still lead by three starters specifically: Rasheed Wallace, Chauncey Billups, and Richard Hamilton. Wallace finished with 18 points, Billups had 26 points, and Hamilton had 25 points. Rodney Stuckey came off the bench and continued to show his skills as a rookie by finishing with 13 points. Stuckey missed a critical free throw for the Pistons in the final seconds and then made a free throw that he wanted to clank to give the Celtics a chance to finish the game off.

The Celtics’ intensity in this game was great. They were down in the first half and were having trouble with some calls from the referees, but then exploded in the second half of the second quarter. With Ray Allen having two great games in this series it seems that he is improving and will hopefully display his talents on the road for Game 6. The Celtics will need to play just as well and with the same intensity level they did in Game 5 if they want to move on to the Finals.

Also, the bench may not have done the scoring tonight, but they did not play very meaningful minutes either. Posey and P.J. brown were the only two bench players who played over 10 minutes and never really had shots or looks at the basket that were very good. It would be nice though to see a bench player come alive and provide an extra boost to the offense. Leon Powe comes to my mind for that scenario, but I am not sure why he has not seen any meaningful minutes really since early in the Cleveland series.

Game 6 will be on Friday night in Detroit.

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Discussion

5 comments for “Celtics Survive Fourth Quarter Scare; Lead Series 3-2”

  1. Perk was THE MAN last night.

    Posted by Chris | May 29, 2008, 6:38 am
  2. A stunning performance by Kendrick Perkins….Ray Allen’s best playoff game….clutch shots by KG, including a ridiculous 3 pointer off the backboard….hitting free throws in critical moments…..it took all of that to eke out a win over the Pistons, who just never give up. I only hope that the Celts can somehow do it two straight games and get out of this series intact. If they pull their every-other-game intensity stuff on Friday night, and stink up the Palace in Detroit, that 7th game is going to be a doozy. Expect blood all over the court.

    By the way, that crew of officials led by Kenny and Ed ought to be shot. I imagine Tommy Heinsohn had to be resuscitated several times.

    Posted by Ken | May 29, 2008, 7:31 am
  3. [...] enter the O zone Eagle Tribune Ray-demption: slumping guard saves the day Sports of Boston Celtics survive 4th quarter scare MSNBC Celtics should forget game 6, plan on game 7 Green Bandwagon Clifford Ray is awesome [...]

    Posted by Celtics247.com » Blog Archive » Today’s Links 5/29 | May 29, 2008, 11:45 am
  4. Ray and Perk really had good games. I don’t like Perk’s attitude much of the time but when he isn’t in foul trouble he can be a real asset.

    Ray might be out of his shooting slump but I won’t get too excited until he has back to back games where he shoots well.

    Great stat: Celts are 29-0 when leading 3 games to 2, so that bodes well.

    Reffing was atrocious. Just atrocious.

    In the playoffs, a win is a win, though they better close out better or the Pistons/lakers will nip one at the end.

    Posted by Jeff | May 29, 2008, 12:55 pm
  5. Could the Celtics make it anymore interesting? Oh my fault, could the refs have made it anymore interesting? Of course they could have, they could’ve put Billups on the line at the end of the game instead of Stuckey. Hey genius, if you miss the front end of two, you’re supposed to miss the second one too. Your boy is wicked smaht.

    http://www.wickedpissadude.com

    Posted by Wicked Pissa Dude | May 29, 2008, 1:35 pm

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