Despite a sore back, Lebron James did play for the Heat tonight in Miami. The Celtics came out strong in the first, and despite a 10-0 run by Miami at one point, Boston was only down 6, 31-25 after 1. Jordan Crawford kept the C’s close by putting in 8 points including two buckets from downtown.
The 2nd quarter was a thing of beauty. The Celtics dropped 35 points on the Heat and had a very balanced attack. With the exception of Kelly Olynyk, all 10 Celtics that took the floor in quarter #2 scored. Phil Pressey played the entire quarter and made the most of it-the rookie PG was very effective, especially in transition, and scored 5 points to go with an assist and 2 rebounds. The C’s notched 7 fastbreak points in the quarter as well. Michael Beasley made an appearance off the Heat bench and actually got the Miami crowd into it. He scored 10 points in 8 minutes and was the key to the C’s not expanding their lead. The Celtics went into halftime up 60-59 in Miami. Impressive.
Boston kept up the intensity in the 3rd, but got a little too comfy with the jumpers and three’s. The Celtics did not get to the rack and it showed. Boston had 0 free-throw attempts in the quarter, and shot a weak 9 of 26 from the floor. Despite outrebounding Miami 15-11, Boston was simply not aggressive enough offensively and shots did not fall. Miami was not much better, and barely won the quarter 23-20. The Celtics were still very much alive however, and headed into the final quarter down 82-80. Fans of the tank were starting to sweat…
In the fourth, Lebron James decided he was going to take over. James started to turn it up, getting to the hoop at will, and Miami took a 101-95 lead with 4:58 left. But the Celtics would not stop fighting. Avery Bradley was a beast in the 4th quarter. He virtually matched Lebron shot for shot, and hit big bucket after big bucket. He drilled an 18′ step back jumper with 0:38 left in the game, and Boston was within two points- 108-106. Bradley had 9 points in the quarter and was a perfect 4 of 4 from the floor and 1 of 1 downtown. The C’s kept it close, but Kelly Olynyk missed a shot and a chance to tie with 6 seconds left. All that was left were some Heat free-throws and Boston would lose. Or would they? Here is where it gets surreal..Lebron James nails two foul shots, C’s call timeout, get a quick Wallace layup, and it’s 110-108 Heat with 0:01 left. The C’s foul Wade, who misses both free throws, (the second one allegedly on purpose) and gets called for a violation. Boston now has one last chance to tie or win. With 6 tenths of a second left, Gerald Wallace tosses a perfect inbounds pass into Jeff Green, who buries the game-winning three. The crowd was stunned, the Heat were stunned and Boston gets a 111-110 win over Lebron, Wade & company in Miami tonight. Gutsy road win on the tail end of a back-to-back for this young squad. Celtics have now won 3 straight.
- Brad Stevens drew-up a beauty of a play on that game winner, and the Celtics did a hell of a job executing. Stevens has now guided the C’s to three straight wins.
- Jeff Green was the aggressive Jeff that we love tonight, and he was effective in the 4th. Green nailed the game winning trey to cap a 24 point night.10 of his 24 came in the 4th.
- Avery Bradley took over the game late in the 4th and brought the energy Boston needed to counter Lebron & the crowd. Bradley went back & forth with James in the final quarter, scoring 9 of his 17 points.
- Jordan Crawford was out of control at times, but what else is new? Steez put in 15 pts to go with 4 asts & 2 steals.
- Big kudos to the Celtics bench. They had 42 points on the night, 30 of them in the 2nd half. Humphries, Pressey, Sully, Lee & Wallace all played well.
- We just beat Miami, in Miami, on the second night of a BTB, on a buzzer beating three. I’ve got no complaints.
Jeff Green dunks on Battier
Crawford’s fancy moves:
The Grid: (quick stats)
- Celtics had 54 points in the paint to Miami’s 48
- Boston had 13 second chance points