Fire in the Garden
A mentor once said to me, “A series does not start until a team wins a road game” so thanks to the Miami Heat’s overtime win in the Boston TD Garden, this series is officially underway!
In the early part of the game, Miami look as irregular as former Heat point-guard Carlos Arroyo looks in a Celtics jersey. Everything the Miami squad does great just wasn’t clicking: Chris Bosh couldn’t hit his trademarked 15-foot jumper, Dwayne Wade and Lebron James were unable to get out in transition; and most importantly, the usually crisp Heat defense werent able to stop anything the Celtics threw at them. For the star-studded Heat team, the strange play didn’t stop there. In the second, after a few short moments after checking into the game for the first time in over 6 months due to a foot injury, center Udonis Haslem couldn’t even do what he does best:keep plays alive. After the known hustle player couldn’t snag the ball as it lay in the open court, he barked at the refs enough to earn a technical foul resulting in a one way ticket back to the bench.Following the surprising tech, the Celtics went on a 7-0 scoring run led by Delonte West, who scored 10 total off the bench. The Heat limped into half only trailing by three thanks to 34 combined points between the two headed dragon of Wade and James. Jame’s 20 first half points were 5 more than his game 3 total. The third ‘Big 3’ member,Chris Bosh, had no answer for the critics who has constantly berated the Toronto acquisition and who have doubted both his desire and his toughness. Bosh’s 18 first half minutes only produced 5 points and 2 rebounds. Boston was lead by veteran Paul Pierce who had 19 points for his 19 minutes in the first.
After a neck-to-neck second half, the Celtics drained back-to-back triples to put them up three. Lebron James responded by swishing a fade-away three over Paul Pierce directly in front of the Boston bench to tie things up again. After a defensive stop, James looked to hit another clutch shot at the other end, this time for the lead. James lost his grip on the ball while backing down Pierce which gave Boston the final shot.Due to a breakdown in a Ray Allen screen, Paul Pierce had no other choice than to attempt a leaning buzzer-beater that bricked off the back iron.
In overtime, the Big 3 game alive, outscoring the Celtics 12-4 thus grabbing the ‘W’ as they head back down to South Beach for a possible series-ending game 6. The Big 3 took control of this game, especially in the clutch. The Big 3 combined for 83 of Miami’s 98 and played an even bigger part in the momentum. King James had a total of 35 points and 14 rebounds in what he calls one of his career’s biggest games. Wade added an additional 28and Bosh 20 as the Heat outscored Boston 29 to 17 in the final two segments. The series will resume Wednesday in Miami, where thousands of ‘white hot’ Heat fans will look to ignite a championship run and where the Heat will try to knock off their #1 rival and be the first team to lock up a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals.
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