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In a tight game, Boston managed to come out on top 106-104 to take the 3-2 series lead in what has been an exciting first round of playoff basketball. It all came down to Brad Miller, who missed two free throws with 2.0 seconds left in overtime that would have tied the game.
Paul Pierce really proved he was the hero when he hit the game-winning shot with 3.2 seconds left in overtime. He hit his mid-range jumper while taking on John Salmons one-on-one. The Truth finished the night with 26 points, while the other Celtics starters were also quite impressive.
Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, and Glen Davis were all great. Rondo led all scorers with 28 points and 11 assists. Perkins had a career night with 16 points, 19 rebounds, 7 blocks, and no fouls. Yes, that’s correct; Kendrick Perkins committed no fouls in four quarters of basketball and overtime. Finally, Glen Davis continued to play exceptionally well in Kevin Garnett’s absence with 21 points.
Ray Allen fouled out of the game early in the fourth quarter after some very ridiculous calls against him.
The Bulls, led in part by Ben Gordon, just would not go away in Game 5. Despite his injury, Gordon finished the night with 26 points. He drew a clutch foul from Tony Allen from beyond the three point line in overtime, and tied the game at 104 with three free throws.
John Salmons finished with 17 points, Derrick Rose had 14, Tyrus Thomas had 12, and Joakim Noah was impressive with 11 points and 17 rebounds. Kirk Hinrich had 19 points off the bench and had the hot hand that kept the Bulls ahead for a while earlier in the game.
The Celtics just would not let the Bulls come into their house and take Game 5 away from them. This was the third overtime game already in the series and the first that the Celtics have been able to win. Somehow, the Celtics did not see overtime in 26 playoff games last season.
I have also been incredibly impressed with Rajon Rondo, who has been critical to Boston’s success by driving to the basket and making the tough shots under the hoop. However, Pierce continues to be the heart and soul of the team, capable of making all the clutch shots. Pierce’s No. 34 will be hanging in the rafters as soon as he retires and he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame on his first year of eligibility.
Game 6 in Chicago is on Thursday.
Tags: Ben Gordon, Brad Miller, Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Derrick Rose, Glen Big Baby Davis, Joakim Noah, John Salmons, Kendrick Perkins, Kirk Hinrich, NBA Playoffs, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Tony Allen, Tyrus Thomas