Another night, another close game for the Boston Celtics. They have now dropped three straight games that went down to the wire and the latest was yet again decided by free throws.
LeBron James came through in the clutch for Miami by hitting five freebies in the final minute of the game. The first two put the Heat on top 90-86 before Boston came right back at Miami at the other end of the court.
The Celtics were able to go to an old yet new face on their next possession. Rajon Rondo, who’s still getting his bearings after missing 11 months with an ACL tear in his right knee, attacked the basket and drew a foul as he tossed up a runner in the paint. The shot missed, but Rondo still earned a trip to the line.
Tuesday’s game accounted for Rondo’s third of the season. He had just made his first visit of the season to the charity stripe with 7:48 remaining in the fourth quarter, when he made one of his two attempts. This trip obviously held much more significance.
Rondo toed the line with 44.4 seconds remaining on the clock. One make would have made it a three-point game. Two makes would have made it a two-point game.
Unfortunately, it remained a four-point game.
Rondo misfired on both of his attempts and Chris Bosh reeled in the rebound. James was fouled yet again with 26 seconds left and he went on to can both attempts to put Miami on top 92-86. James tacked on one more free throw after Rondo missed a 3-pointer to close out the game’s scoring. James shot 5-of-6 from the free-throw line in the final minute of the game to lead Miami to a 93-86 victory.
Key Box Score Line
Kris Humphries continues to get the call as one of Boston’s starting big men, and Humphries continues to bring the goods.
Humphries logged his second consecutive double-double Tuesday night in Miami and his third in his last seven games overall. He finished the contest with 14 points, which trailed only Brandon Bass’ 15 for the Celtics. He also hauled in a game-high 13 boards, including four at the offensive end of the floor.
Efficient might be an understatement in regard to Humphries’ offensive performance. It took him just 10 shot attempts to rack up those 14 points, as he made seven of those 10 field goals. He shot 6-of-7 from the free-throw line and in, and also drilled a 20-footer from straight away. Humphries did all of this while logging just 28 minutes of playing time.
Box Score Nuggets
- Boston outrebounded Miami 46-33.
- Rajon Rondo led the Celtics in assists with five helpers.
- The Celtics trailed by as many as 18 points in the first quarter but took a lead in the fourth quarter.
- Each team's starting center, Kris Humphries and Chris Bosh, shot 7-of-10 from the field.
- LeBron James scored a game-high 29 points.
- The teams combined to shoot just 10-of-47 from 3-point range.
- Brandon Bass led the Celtics in scoring with 15 points.
- Miami scored 25 points off of Boston's 18 turnovers.
- Humphries (14 points, 13 rebounds) and Jared Sullinger (12 points, 11 rebounds) notched the game's only double-doubles.
- Boston's bench outscored Miami's bench 44-29.
- James attempted 11 of the game's 34 free throws.
- The Celtics scored 25 second-chance points, thanks in large part to Sullinger's eight offensive boards.
- Chris Johnson scored 11 points off the bench for Boston in his first appearance with the team.
Quote of the Night
He brought a lot of energy. He showed a lot of hunger. If he keeps playing like that, he'll have a future in this league. Brandon Bass on Chris JohnsonMore quotes >>