|< Prev||Next >|
The Boston Celtics brought every inch of courage and toughness they had in Game 5 which helped them overcome their opponents the Miami Heat at the American Airlines Arena on Tuesday night. The hard fought 94-90 victory helped the C's take an unlikely 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference finals, after they were down 2-0 just a few days ago. The game was an extremely topsy-turvy affair with Boston stealing momentum from Miami in the third quarter with some aggressive offensive play. Clutch moment free throws in the fourth quarter and a critical 3 pointer from Paul Pierce assured victory for the veterans in green as they had to dig deep to pick up the win.
The victory came as a huge shock for those attending as Miami led until deep in the third quarter."They jumped on us at the beginning of the game and we just told our guys to just hang in there. Just hang in there. Don't overreact. Hang in there. The longer we're in the game, the better we'll play," said Doc Rivers after the game.
It was that kind of a match from the visitors where they pursued their opponents every second of every minute. Kevin Garnett led the team on the floor, managing 26 points on the night. The 36-year old has proved time and again that there are few people his age who can pull off the kind of performances that he can and last night KG unleashed the real monster within. The former MVP also bucketed the match winning free throws in the dying seconds. The game's biggest play, however, came from Paul Pierce, who had a poor offensive night, but bucketed from beyond the arc with less than a minute to go, to give his team enough to fend off their opponents.
Mickael Pietrus was Celtics' big performer from the bench, adding 13 points and scoring two massive three pointers. Boston had 5 players in double figures, which allowed them to distribute their players across the 48 minute period. Rajon Rondo spent over 44 minutes on the floor, providing a game high 13 assists. The guard had a poor game in the paint but distributed flawlessly, pulling the strings throughout the game and causing a great deal of trouble to the Miami Heat.
Dwayne Wade and LeBron James combined for 57 points but an acute lack of support ensured that their contributions achieved no real end. Chris Bosh returned to action for Miami, spending 14 minutes on the floor and adding 9 points to his team's tally.Rivers employed a strategy of switching between zone and man defence in order to keep Wade and James on low percentages. The tactic seemed to have paid huge dividends as both star players were forced to make tough shots throughout the game.
Game 6 will be a do or die affair for Miami and the fact that it is at the Garden will make it harder for them. But Bosh's return will be a huge boost both on the floor and psychologically too, the Heat will feel a lot more confident that they can rely on their star man for motivation. If Bosh's fit enough to play more minutes at the Garden, Miami will be considered favourites to tie up the series. The Celtics will be hoping that his fitness doesn't let him make a telling contribution in the game and that the veteran side are able to win the game and make their way into yet another NBA Finals.
Miami coach Erik Spoelstra spoke after the game, "It's probably like a boxer. You just got to go back to your corner right now. We all just have to huddle up and lean on each other. We're the only people we can depend on right now." From a neutral's perspective, one hopes that Miami are able to get it together and put up a real show in Game 6.
Final score: Boston Celtics 94 - 90 Miami Heat
Game on Wednesday night
San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (2-3)
- 11/06/2012 20:14 - NBA playoffs: Miami rally late to oust Boston and make it to the NBA finals
- 08/06/2012 11:58 - NBA Playoffs: Miami drop the James bomb in Boston to tie series 3-3
- 07/06/2012 09:21 - NBA playoffs: Oklahoma create franchise history by pipping San Antonio to NBA finals