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Celtics Fend Off Pesky Bulls for 3-2 Series Lead

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.

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3 comments for “Celtics Fend Off Pesky Bulls for 3-2 Series Lead”

  1. Wow! This series is just brutal. If the Celtics get out of it alive, they’ll either be worn out for the next round or feel like they’re on vacation – I hope it’s the latter.

    The last 6 minutes of regulation were a joy to behold. Finally foregoing one-on-one basketball, the Celts passed it around like they’ve been doing all season, played stifling defense, and managed to force overtime. Pierce was incredible in those six minutes and in overtime, and Rondo, Perkins and Davis played wonderful games all around. Probably the best performance I’ve ever seen from Perkins in particular. And no fouls for Perk! What a coincidence, after Doc’s outburst. Hmm.

    As for fouls, those ridiculous fouls on Allen are simply incredible. There’s no equity at all, as Gordon does the very same to Allen and never gets whistled. How can you not respect a guy like Allen if you’re an official? Fouling out a team’s shooting star at crunch time over pitty pat stuff like this is simply absurd. Does this ever happen to Lebron or Kobe? Yuk.

    Posted by Ken | April 29, 2009, 7:49 am
  2. So happy Brad Miller was the goat

    Posted by Jeff | April 29, 2009, 8:17 am
  3. […] head by a leaping Rajon Rondo. Miller missed the shot, and the two subsequent free throws in the Bulls 106-104 loss. The NBA, meanwhile, has decided they will not punish Rondo for the hard […]

    Posted by NBA Won’t Punish Rondo for Foul on Miller | Sports of Boston | April 29, 2009, 5:58 pm

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