Do you know what just happened? Does anyone?
I'll repeat what I said on Twitter earlier during the game. I've never seen a team so close in a basketball game but teeter so close to total collapse like the Celtics did all night. They had a million chances to fold, and it looked like they'd take about 900,000 of them at various points.
The most egregious loss of focus came in the third quarter when Miami was starting to make a litle run, got a 4 point lead, and Rondo casually flipped the ball back to Ray Allen for the worst back court violation you'll ever see. Miami hit a 3. Doc called a time out. And the clearly dead and unfocused Celtics outscored Miami 15-3 over the rest of the of the quarter.
Totally makes sense, right?
The Celtics won the middle quarters 49-38, which really was the difference in this game. The Celtics and Heat went back and forth in the fourth. The Celtics best offense for a bit seemed to be random scrums where lucky bounces found open guys for huge plays. Then Paul Pierce took a 3 that we would have killed him for, but instead we will celebrate because it was dead in the eye of LeBron James with :52 left…. and it was followed with a "oooohhhh, I'm so bad" on his way back down the floor.
Rajon Rondo shot 3-15 and had an alternately brilliant and terrible game, which fit the flow of this thing perfectly. He still managed 13 assists (mostly to KG for dunks), and was a game-high +11.
LeBron and Wade combined for 57, but no one else had much impact at all, including Chris Bosh who only played 12 minutes.
The Celtics win Game 5. Teams that win Game 5 win 84% of 7-game series. They'll have a chance to be on the right side of that statistic and close the Heat out at home on Thursday night.
The old, slow, injured Celtics are 1 win from going to the NBA Finals.