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This was the type of game the Celtics need to play. There wasn’t a blowout at any point, the Celtics didn’t make desperate shots to interrupt momentum, and they kept beating down their opponent to defeat the Heat, 107-102. Last time against the Heat, Dwayne Wade mustered 44 points in a Celtics victory, and this time, he managed 30 points as the Celtics completed the season sweep.
The Celtics kept it close, with no team leading by more than seven until the middle of the 4th quarter, when the Celtics took a 10-point lead. Until then, it was a close match all the way, with each team trading shots and rebounds the whole game. The Celtics really stepped up their game early by not forcing too many long shots. Out of 27 1st quarter points, 26 were in the paint and one was from the foul line.
Thanks to more masterful passing, particularly from Rajon Rondo, and Jermaine O’Neal and Rafer Alston getting technical fouls for the Heat with 6:28 left in the 3rd, the Celtics kept pushing ahead, but the Heat never went away. They were shooting 62.5% at the half, and finished the game at 52.1%. Once Tony Allen made a steal and was fouled with 36.5 seconds left and made two free throws to put the Celtics up by five, the Heat finally had to start fouling and making quick shots. With Ray Allen leading the way from there on, the Celtics used their free throws to seal the Heat away.
Another double-double led to 22 points and 14 assists for Rondo, thanks to perfect fake-out pass plays and scoring maneuvers. Another four rebounds and Rondo would have made it a triple double.
It was an overall good performance from Boston. If you need something, Scalabrine only managed one foul in 5:05, and Doc won’t let Shelden Williams play anymore, but those are minor details.
“Great play at the end of the game by Tony; that was nice.” – Doc Rivers on Tony Allen’s steal from Dwayne Wade at the end of the 4th quarter.