There are two guarantees with the Celtics. They'll play tough and gritty. And nothing ever comes easy. We witnessed both in tonight's 101-91 victory in Game 3.
Rajon Rondo scored 8 of his 21 points in the 4th quarter as the Heat slowly whittled away a 24-point deficit. Knowing the Heat are going to make a run doesn't make it any easier on my heart. But thanks to Rondo's big buckets, the Heat could never get closer than 8.
Miami made its run with a super small line-up that featured LeBron James at center. Mike Miller nailed 3 threes in the quarter. But my beef was with the Celtics offense. It went stagnant and I'm going to put a lot of blame on Paul Pierce (23 points, 7-21 FG). He was 1-3 FG with 2 awful TOs.
The Celtics really worked Garnett (24 points, 10-16 FG, 11 rebounds, +27) in the paint. The Heat simply have no answer for him. Except for the 20-footer that sealed the game late in the 4th, all of KG's shots came from within 15 feet.
Marquis Daniels (9 points, 5 rebounds) and Keyon Dooling (7 points, 4 rebounds) brought tremendous energy and production off the bench in the 2nd quarter.
The officiating was decent tonight (and by decent I mean, the whistle was blown when guys in white and green were raked across the head). While some bloggers will try to claim the officiating went in Boston's favor tonight, each team was whistled for 24 fouls. I didn't like the dead ball technical on Garnett for the phantom elbow.
Brandon Bass (4 points, 5 fouls in 17 minutes) was out-of-sync all night. Not sure if you can really blame him for the foul trouble, because he shouldn't be covering Shane Battier.
The Celtics outrebounded Miami 52-30 44-32 (12-6 offensive).
Video of KG's push-up routine, after the jump.
Videos courtesy Jose3030