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LeBron James scored 35 points and added 14 rebounds as the Miami Heat defeated the Boston Celtics in overtime 98-90 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Big Three of Miami accounted for 83 of Miami’s 98 points and also had 35 of their 45 rebounds. Dwyane Wade finished with 28 points and nine rebounds and Chris Bosh had a big bounce back game as he finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
The first three quarters were pretty much dead even, as the Celtics entered the fourth quarter up four points, 73-69. The Celtics opened the lead up to five, 76-71 after a Delonte West free-throw. The Heat then respond with a 6-0 run to go ahead 77-76 with 6:11 remaining.
The next four minutes were back-and-forth, until Ray Allen hit a three-pointer with 2:28 left to put the Celtics up 84-81. The Heat answered however, as LeBron James on the next possession hit a three in front of the Celtic bench to knot things back up at 84. Then, with just 48 seconds remaining, James drove for a layup that put the Heat up 86-84. The Celtics then called a timeout and on the next play Paul Pierce drove to the hoop to tie the game at 86.
With 19 seconds left, LeBron lost control over the ball and Ray Allen got the steal and was immediately fouled by James Jones. The Celtics inbounded the ball with 19 seconds and got the ball to Paul Pierce. Pierce dribbled the clock down and then missed a fadeaway jumper as time expired.
The overtime period was dominated by the Heat, as they outscored the Celtics 12-4. The defining moment in overtime was when Wade threw a shot up with his foot on the three-point line to give the Heat a 92-86 lead. The Celtics went 1-6 from the field and committed four turnovers in overtime.
The Heat can eliminate the Celtics with a win in Miami on Wednesday.
Kevin Garnet was certainly not the Big Ticket. Garnet followed up a 28-point, 18-rebound performance with a seven-point, 10-rebound performance. If those numbers were not bad enough, the fact that he finished the game 1-10 from the floor should make you cringe. Garnett settled for jump shots time and time again, instead of working from the post like he did in Game 3.
A lot was made of Rondo’s elbow injury and how he would respond in Game 4. Rondo played 38 minutes but was not very effective as he finished the game with just 10 points and five assists.
Miami’s Big Three accounted for 84% of their points, 78% of their rebounds, and 80% of their field-goal attempts.