|Connelly’s Top Ten: Interesting SI Article From 1999 About Doctoring Footballs…||Red Sox Acquire RHP John Cornely, Another Arm for Minors||Bruins Name Don Sweeney General Manager||In Surprising Move, Robert Kraft Opts to Accept NFL Penalties|
It looked like it would be a happy ending after a horrendous start, but the sweep was not to be, as the Celtics finally fell to Miami, 101-92. It was not a good start, as Quentin Richardson hit two threes for Miami, Rondo traveled, Garnett goaltended, and Pierce threw it away. Just 3:56 in, the Heat had a double-digit lead. The Celtics got the deficit down to 17-14, but the Heat scored 14 straight points, holding Boston scoreless for 4:02. By the end of the 1st quarter, Boston was trailing 31-18, having racked up more turnovers (nine) than field goals (seven).
Boston tried to come back, though. They came at the Heat, playing like they should have, though on a fast break, Tony Allen was taken down accidentally by Joel Anthony. Allen was slow to get up, but was fine and remained in the game. Anthony did the same thing to Rondo after being nudged by Dwyane Wade, and while Rondo was attended to, he was fine and remained in the game as well. Thanks to foul shooting and timely attacks of the basket, Boston cut the lead to four, and only trailed by six at the half. Rondo tried to get it closer with the last shot, but for probably the first time ever, a half ended with the shot getting stuck between the rim and the board.
The Celtics kept it up in the 3rd, which hasn’t always been their best quarter this season. Ray Allen hit a three to tie it at 62, and Rondo banked it in moments later to take a 64-62 lead. Boston opened up a seven-point lead, and led by six with 12 minutes to go. All they had to do now was not screw up yet another lead, and we’d all be going home happy.
Not so fast, Boston; you’re forgetting about Dwyane Wade. With his mama in attendance, Wade hit a three after the Heat jump-started a run of their own to pull withing one, then later hit another one to take a one-point lead, then hit another one to take a five-point lead (he had four in the quarter). A ten-point lead soon belonged to Miami, with 6:59 left. Ray Allen uncharacteristically missed two free throws with 1:50 left, making it three missed free throws in a row. It’s the first time that’s happened in five years. Garnett later missed two to make it five misses in a row. Boston couldn’t hold onto a lead, again, and couldn’t defend, giving Wade a career high 46 points in a playoff game. As a result, Boston will head back home and hope to avoid being the first NBA team to ever lose a series after being ahead 3-0.
Rondo did all he could to get his team back in it with his 23 points and nine assists, but Rondo’s still only one man.
The 1st and 4th quarters were just embarrassing. The Heat also got way too many second chances opportunities, nine to Boston’s meager four.
“We just have to do a better job, somehow … Wade brought them back in one stretch.” – Doc Rivers on Dwyane Wade (and the Heat overall).