Where are all those Rajon Rondo doubters now?
Often criticized for riding the coat tails of the Big 3, Rondo had 25 points and 8 assists in 50 minutes as the Celtics beat the Heat 112-106 in overtime. Not only did Rondo score the game-tying lay-up off a 25-foot out-of-bounds lob pass from Paul Pierce as time expired, but he dropped 6 points in OT to secure the win.
"Slayed by D-Wade" was going to be the headline of this post after I watched Dwyane Wade (44 points, 7 assists) pick Ray Allen's pocket and glide in for the go-ahead dunk with 0.6 second left.
Paul Pierce (17 points, 6 rebounds) entered the game with the Celtics down 87-78 with about 7
minutes to go. The Truth had quite the calming effect on his turnover prone teammates.
The Celtics outscored Miami 23-14 the rest of the way thanks to 5
assists and one basket by Pierce. A 7-0 run (Wallace dunk, Wallace
three, Rondo floater) gave Boston a 95-93 lead with 2 minutes to go.
Ray Allen, who was plagued by foul trouble most of the night (more on that later) had 9 of his 22 points in the 4th quarter.
The lack of defense in the 1st quarter was disturbing. Wade dropped 18 as the Heat raced out to a 35-30 lead.
The pace slowed dramatically in the 2nd quarter, aided by Joey "Hey-look-at-me" Crawford. Perk continued his domination in the paint – 17 points, 3 rebounds at half. Rondo had 7 assists. The Celtics lead 57-54 at the half.
The Cs stretched their lead to 8 midway through the 3rd quarter. But the Heat closed the quarter with a 17-6 run to lead 78-75 going into the 4th. The Heat run was fueled by several horrible Celtics turnovers.
The wretched play continued into the 4th as the Heat extended their lead to 11. Not only were the Celtics committing turnovers (24 total), but they now were allowing offensive rebounds (17 total).
The refs treated Ray Allen him like a rookie second round draft pick out of a Division III school. Granted he was guarding Wade, but Allen is no slouch. The only reason Ray had 4 first half steals is because the Heat threw the ball right to him.
Marquis Daniels had a new cast put on his thumb. In 2-3 weeks, he'll have a soft cast. The only timetable for his return is sometime after the All-Star break.