Celtics 115, Heat 107
Tonight’s final score in Miami was 115-107, the exact same final score that we saw when the Celtics and Heat last met in AmericanAirlines Arena, way back on Dec. 27. The one key difference? The scoreboard was reversed.
Boston snagged yet another momentous win and improved to 18-7 since the All-Star break, which is the most wins in the NBA during that time. This was only Miami’s fourth home loss of the season and the Celtics played from ahead for nearly the duration of the night.
So how did we get here? Let’s just call it how it is – the Celtics were big-shot makers, and the Heat were not.
The biggest basket of the game may have come off of the fingers of Ray Allen, who drilled a 3-pointer with 9:01 remaining in the game to put Boston ahead 94-89. With so much time left on the clock, one might wonder why that shot was so important. In taking a closer look, though, it’s easy to figure out why.
Boston had led by as many as 18 points in the game but the Heat had slowly whittled that separation down to two points when Mario Chalmers made a technical free throw. When the C’s took possession of the ball 15 seconds after that free throw, they had an opportunity to either make it a two-possession game or give Miami another opportunity to tie or take the lead. As Allen’s enormous 3-pointer indicates, Boston opted for the former.
The big shots didn’t stop there for the visiting team. The next four baskets by the Celtics, who sported their home white jerseys tonight, came from the hands of Kevin Garnett. Those baskets took a five-point advantage all the way up to 11 midway through the fourth.
Garnett got it done in every possible way during this key stretch. All four of the makes came via jumpers from at least 16 feet out. Rajon Rondo assisted one of the shots, but the other three were examples of KG simply taking over. He rose up over whoever was defending him and made every single shot he attempted during this stretch and in the entire fourth quarter.
Garnett or Allen put home a basket every time the Celtics needed one, and Miami failed miserably in its attempt to keep up. That’s how we arrived at Boston's 18th win since the break, and that’s why it now owns a 2-1 advantage over Miami this season.
Key Box Score Line
Is there anything better than watching vintage KG at age 35? If you’re a Celtics fan, absolutely not. It you’re a Heat fan, absolutely.
Garnett torched Miami to the tune of 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting during Boston’s 115-107 victory. Ten of those points came in the fourth quarter via jumpers from at least 15 feet out. KG shot a perfect 5-of-5 in the fourth quarter to lead the C’s to victory.
While he couldn’t be stopped at the offensive end, Garnett also made an impact on the glass and on defense. He totaled nine boards on the night, which trailed only teammate Brandon Bass’ 10 rebounds. KG also blocked two shots, which tied teammate Greg Stiemsma for the game high.
Here’s summing it all up into one word: vintage. No one on Miami’s roster, particularly Chris Bosh, stood a chance tonight, and that’s why the Celtics recorded their second win over the Heat in nine days.
Box Score Nuggets
- Boston shot a whopping 60.6 percent in the game.
- Nine of the game's 10 starters scored in double-figires. Ronny Turiaf, who scored four points, was the lone starter who did not.
- Miami's shooting percentages were nearly identical overall (44.8 percent) and from 3-point range (44.4 percent).
- Two players on each team scored at least 20 points. Boston was led by 27 from Paul Pierce and 24 from Kevin Garnett. Miami was led by LeBron James' 36 and Dwyane Wade's 20.
- Boston's duo of Pierce and Garnett combined for four less points than James and Wade, but needed a total of 14 less shot attempts to get those points.
- Brandon Bass grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds to go along with 12 points.
- Bass and Rajon Rondo (18 points, 15 assists) were the only players in the game to log double-doubles.
- The Celtics committed double the amount of turnovers as Miami did, with a final count of 14-7.
- James made 13 of his game-high 14 free throw attempts.
- Greg Stiemsma came off of Boston's bench to total eight points, seven rebounds, one assist, one steal and two blocks.
- Boston outrebounded Miami by a count of 40-34.
- The Celtics shot 64.3 percent (9-of-14) from 3-point range.
- Both teams scored at least 22 points in all four quarters.
- Wade and Mario Chalmers each grabbed three steals apiece, which matched the total of Boston's entire team.
- Sasha Pavlovic came off of Boston's bench and made both of his shot attempts, both 3-pointers, to total six points.
Quote of the Night
Paul Pierce on Kevin Garnett's game: "That’s what he (Kevin Garnett) does. That’s K.G. all day. We (Boston Celtics) will take those looks any time he can get them, and he can get them whenever he wants. It gets us fired up."