Ford Keys to the Game: Celtics 94, Heat 90
Celtics 94, Heat 90
You just don’t make a bigger shot than the one Paul Pierce nailed Tuesday night.
Game 5 was a testy, back-and-forth thriller that seemed destined for a buzzer-beater until Pierce made sure it wouldn’t need one.
Boston led by one point when it took possession of the ball at the 1:12 mark of the fourth quarter. Everyone in the building knew it was a critical possession, including Pierce. That’s why he pulled up for one of the most gutsy shots we’ve ever seen.
He took a 3. In LeBron James’ face. And nailed it.
“I saw him back up, he gave me a step,” Pierce said after the game. “I knew it was within my range. The shot clock was winding down, just took a shot. That's just being in those moments so many times and understanding what your team needs, and being able to concentrate and get the best shot for us. “
The bucket put Boston ahead by four points and, more importantly, two possessions, with just 52.9 seconds remaining in the game. It essentially put the game on ice, although some big free throws from Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett were needed to seal the victory.
Key Box Score Line
Kevin Garnett just continues to deliver, and deliver, and deliver again. He was phenomenal in Game 5, particularly in the second half, and finished with team highs of 26 points and 11 rebounds. The Big Ticket also contributed two assists, one steal and two blocked shots while nailing 11 of his 20 field goals.
You hear the term “empty the tank” consistently in sports, and Garnett is doing it on a nightly basis. Doc Rivers is riding Garnett as far as the big man will take him, and right now, it looks like that road isn’t going to end anytime soon.
Box Score Nuggets
- Neither team shot better than 40.7 percent.
- Miami won the rebounding battle by a count of 49-39.
- Boston grabbed 13 steals, more than double that of the Heat (six).
- LeBron James led the game with 30 points.
- James and Dwyane Wade (27 points) combined to score 57 points.
- The Celtics committed 13 turnovers that led to 15 Miami points, while the Heat committed 15 turnovers that led to 13 Boston points.
- Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with 26 points and 11 rebounds.
- Rajon Rondo's 13 assists matched Miami's team assist total.
- Mickael Pietrus came off of Boston's bench to score 13 points and grab three rebounds.
- Udonis Haslem grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds.
- The teams were eerily similar in three categories. Miami won the points in the paint battle 42-40 and the second-chance points battle 18-17, while Boston won the fast-break points battle 9-8.
- Paul Pierce scored 19 points, grabbed four rebounds and dished out four assists.
- Chris Bosh, in his first game back from an abdominal strain, scored nine points and grabbed seven rebounds in 14:23 of playing time.
- Ray Allen shot 8-of-8 from the free-throw line.
Quote of the Night
Rajon Rondo on who deserves the credit for Boston's success: "We wouldn't be up 3-2 if it weren't for our entire team."