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The Eastern Conference final has been a tense affair with both the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics giving their all within the various shortcomings that they possessed. Game 7 was very characteristic of the whole series with both teams going at it, the big name players coming up with big numbers but in the end LeBron James and the boys pulled off a prolific fourth quarter run to take their team past the finish line with a 101-88 win over the 17 time NBA Champions, the Boston Celtics. The game was never a foregone conclusion as Miami kept up the pressure but the Câ€™s took the lead in the fourth quarter, to everyoneâ€™s surprise and ensured that Miami had to make one last push to get to the NBA Finals.
Miami coach Erik Spoelstra summed up the series after the game: "I guess that's what a seven-game Eastern Conference series is supposed to be like. It was good to see us come together in a very competitive series."
The Miami Heatâ€™s big three were back in action in this game. Erik Spoelstra did a very smart thing by using Chris Bosh as an impact player from the bench rather than a regular on the floor and the former Toronto Raptors star came up with the goods, finishing with 19 points in the game. But LeBron was the star yet again and anyone who doubted his ability in the big games was proven wrong as he added a game high 31 points and 12 rebounds. Celticsâ€™ Brandon Bass was asked to mark the MVP in this game owing to Paul Pierceâ€™s failure to match up to the king and even the change of tactic failed to work for Doc Rivers.
Miamiâ€™s big three added the teamâ€™s final 30 points to close the game against a Celtic team that took a 82-81 lead in the fourth quarter. The home team had a surge of adrenaline at this point though, as they realized that they might lose their grasp of a second successive NBA final. Miami rotated its squad really well with 4 players getting into double figures and providing the big guns enough room to show their class. Dwayne Wade proved to be a crucial component of the Big Three of Miami as well with 23 points in this game. The former NBA finals MVP spent 43 minutes on the floor and shot a tad below 50%, giving his team and LeBron a good cushion.
Rajon Rondo added another career triple double with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists. Unfortunately the bucket shy point guard was Bostonâ€™s top scorer which is never a good sign for the franchise, who boast of shooting veterans such as Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. While the Big three did enter double figures, their intensity on the floor fizzled out after Miami went on 10-2 run in the 4th quarter to take control of the game.
Ray Allen spoke about the teamâ€™s performance on the floor, "We just got stagnant with the ball, stayed on one side. Yea, you're going to miss shots. The ball stayed on one side, we put them in transition. They went on a run and we couldn't get the offense going again."
The Celtics were having an impressive first half as they ended at the break with a commanding lead but Miami were simply magnificent in the third period, outscoring their opponents by 7 and taking control of the game. Boston did keep the pressure up and the game turned from lopsided to topsy-turvy to lopsided to make it an enthralling encounter for all those present at the American Airlines Arena.
Miami will now take on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Miami will play their 3rd final in franchise history while OKC will be playing their first since their move from Seattle. The match is not only a face-off between the leagueâ€™s top scorer Kevin Durant and the best player LeBron James but it means so much more. The match signifies a metamorphosis in the NBA with the likes of Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan paving the way for the younger stars of the league. Itâ€™s a direct tussle between two teams that have players that are destined to have their names etched in basketball folkfore but have not done that just yet. Two teams with modest histories but players with the potential to rewrite the history books. It all goes down on Tuesday night!
Final Score: Boston Celtics 88 â€“ 101 Miami Heat
NBA Finals Game 1 - 12th June
Miami Heat vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
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