Heat 77, Celtics 106
If we would have told you that the Celtics would be without Kevin Garnett for Game 2 of their opening round series against the Heat, and that Paul Pierce would have scored only 13 points in that same game, how likely would you say a Boston win would be? Probably not very.
How about if we tossed in the fact that despite Pierce's limited role and Garnett's absence, the C's would put be able to build two separate runs of at least 13-0 in that Game 2 that would lead to a blowout win. Now how likely would you say a Game 2 win would be then? If you said exceedingly likely, you're a winner.
The Celtics and Heat battled for the first 12 minutes of the game, but from that point on this one turned into a laugher, and fast. The game headed into the second period with the score knotted up at 23-23, but by the time the C's were done with their first sustained run of the evening, the outcome was no longer in doubt.
Miami's stagnant offense was just that for the second game in a row, and for a stretch of 8:03 of that second quarter, it was actually nonexistent. The Celtics' defense locked down the Heat from top to bottom, forcing them into 12 consecutive misses from the field and one missed free throw to boot.
But the Celtics weren't just schooling the Heat on defense, they were lighting them up at the other end, too. Five Celtics combined to shoot 7-of-8 from the field, 3-of-3 from downtown and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line during Miami's silent stretch, racking up a total of 21 points -- 21 unanswered points.
The two greatest Celtics of that run, who also happened to be the two greatest players on the floor tonight, helped Boston out with a solid inside-outside game. Ray Allen, who led the Celtics with 25 points, scored eight points during that run on two 3-pointers and one athletic, driving layup. His partner in crime was Glen Davis -- who filled in for Garnett in the starting lineup -- who totaled six points and one assist to help Boston open this one up.
After the C's had completed their 21-0 spurt, they were ahead by 16 points and had put the game away. When they followed that up with a 13-0 run in the early moments of the second half, they turned this one into a blowout that reached its peak at a 33-point spread.
As unlikely as it seemed without much help from Pierce and KG, the Celtics secured themselves a 2-0 lead in the series in convincing fashion. They now head down to Miami for Game 3 with all of the momentum -- and a rested Big Ticket in tow.
Key Box Score Line
He talked the talk yesterday, and he walked the walk today. Glen Davis filled in for the suspended Kevin Garnett tonight and did so in impressive fashion, totaling 23 points and eight rebounds on 7-of-14 shooting from the field and 9-of-11 shooting from the free-throw line. He calls himself the Ticket Stub, because he belives he's the substitute for Kevin "Big Ticket" Garnett. He was the super substitute tonight, and might be the biggest reason why the Celtics are now halfway to the Conference Semifinals.
Box Score Nuggets
- Ray Allen scored a team-high 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field and 7-of-9 shooting from 3-point range.
- Boston outscored Miami 27-2 in fast break points.
- The Celtics limited the Heat to less than 80 points for the second straight game.
- Eight Celtics grabbed at least four rebounds, led by Kendrick Perkins' nine.
- Dwyane Wade scored a game-high 29 points.
- Outside of Wade, no other Heat player scored more than Michael Beasley's 13.
- Rajon Rondo recorded a game-high 12 assists.
- Miami shot only 38.2 percent from the field.
- Boston outrebounded Miami 50-33.
- The Celtics recorded 26 assists compared to only 14 turnovers.
- Miami was whistled for 26 personal fouls, while Boston committed only 14
- That foul disparity led to the C's taking 27 free-throws compared to the Heat's 16.
- Jermaine O'Neal blocked five shots, but shot only 1-of-10 from the floor himself.
Quote of the Night
Erik Spoelstra on Glen Davis' impact: "We have respect for him but that's a case where one man impacting the game simply with his effort. I don't think they ran one play for him; I would be shocked if they had even a play in their playbook to Glen Davis. He does all of his work without the ball, he does it by running the floor, sprinting ahead of the crowd, ducking in on the weak side, crashing the offensive glass, putting himself in position for dishes inside the paint. He just continues to put heat on you in the paint. How do you deal with a player like that? You can not let a man's effort exceed yours; it's as simple as that."