Celtics 92, Heat 101
There are some games where you simply tip your cap to an opponent and realize the greatness that took place during a loss -- today was one of those games for the Boston Celtics.
Dwyane Wade was about as dominant as a player can possibly be during Game 4, particularly in the second half, and dropped 46 points on the C's to help Miami avoid being swept out of the playoffs. Thirty of those points were racked up in the second half, including 19 in the fourth quarter.
After Boston had battled back from an 18-point deficit in the first half to take a 77-71 lead heading into the fourth quarter, Wade took over the game. He owned the initial 5:48 of the fourth period, as he scored 17 points during one of the most impressive shooting displays the league has seen all season long. His 5-of-6 shooting during that span included 4-of-4 shooting from downtown, and he sunk three free-throws, too.
When that incredible display was over, the Heat had already turned that six-point deficit into a double-digit lead halfway through the final quarter.
But despite all of that, the C's still gave themselves a chance to win this game. In fact, had they made their free-throws down the stretch, they might have flown back to Boston this evening having swept Wade and his teammates out of the playoffs.
The Celtics had crawled back to within four points after Ray Allen hit a free-throw at the 2:36 mark of the fourth, but from that point on Boston could do no right from the charity stripe.
Allen, who was a 91.3 percent shooter from the line in the regular season, missed his second free-throw at the 2:36 mark, then missed another two just 46 seconds later. Had he made those three shots, the score would have been cut to 96-95 with less than two minutes to play. In addition to Allen's misfires, Kevin Garnett clanked two free-throws after Michael Beasley dropped in a layup that upped Miami's lead to 98-92.
All in all, it was five misses from the line for the Celtics in a span of 1:25, and those misses nixed any chance they had of overcoming Wade's dominating performance.
Key Box Score Line
In one of the most dominating performances the Celtics have seen this season, Dwyane Wade led the Miami Heat to their first win of this series. He scored a game-high 46 points in Game 4 (he has scored the game-high in each of the first four games of this series) that included a ridiculous stretch of 17 points in less than half of a quarter. He shot 16-of-24 from the field in the game and also managed to grab five rebounds and dish out five assists.
Box Score Nuggets
- The Celtics shot only 16-of-27 (59.3 percent) from the free-throw line, while Miami shot only 15-of-25 (60.0 percent).
- Four Celtics starters scored at least 15 points, led by Rajon Rondo's 23.
- Dwyane Wade recorded the game-high in points for the fourth time in this series by notching 46 today.
- Wade, who shot 16-of-24 from the field, was the only Heat player to make more than half of his shots.
- Rondo dished out a game-high nine assists.
- Wade and Mario Chalmers tied for the team-high in assists with five. No other Heat player recorded more than one.
- Kevin Garnett was the only player in the game to record a double-double with his 18 points and 12 rebounds.
- Kendrick Perkins scored zero points for the second consecutive game, but did pull in eight boards.
- Paul Pierce shot 2-of-8 from 3-point range.
- Udonis Haslem grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds but scored zero points.
- Pierce, Rondo and Michael Finley each grabbed two steals for Boston.
- The Celtics were outrebounded by a count of 43-35.
- Joel Anthony recorded only one point, two rebounds, one assist and one block, but had the highest plus/minus rating of the game at plus-22.
- Quentin Richardson scored 20 points to go along with eight rebounds.
- Rasheed Wallace scored five points but grabbed zero rebounds and finished with the worst plus/minus rating of the game at -20.
- No Celtic took more than five free-throw attempts.
Quote of the Night
Doc Rivers on the Celtics not focusing on the task at hand: "I thought we took our eyes off of the process to start the game. I think we came into the game thinking lets throw some haymakers... We were thinking about ending the series instead of playing basketball first, and we took our eyes off the process."