Ford Keys to the Game: Celtics 101, Heat 96
Celtics 101, Heat 96 - Boston, MA
By Marc D'Amico, March 19, 2014
Everyone’s going to remember Rajon Rondo’s plays down the stretch of Wednesday night's win over the Heat, and they should. But no one should forget Jeff Green saving the day with 2:54 remaining in the game. That’s when he gave the Celtics an extra possession that may have given them the win.
Green drove to the basket and tossed up a spinning jumper that clanked off of the rim. That shot could have given Boston a lead when the score was tied at 94-94. Miami had an opportunity to grab the rebound and take it to the other end with an shot at taking a lead themselves, but Green had a different plan.
Boston’s leading scorer didn’t grab the rebound off of his miss but his next move set off a critical chain of events. He rose up in traffic to tip the loose ball off of the backboard and the ball wound up falling into the hands of Jared Sullinger. Sullinger’s board gave Boston a fresh clock and another chance to take the lead.
Rajon Rondo went on to reset the Celtics offense and set it into action. The rock eventually found the hands of Sullinger yet again, and when he drew a crowd on the outskirts of the paint he kicked the ball out to Green, who was standing behind the 3-point line on the left wing. Green caught the pass, rose up and smoothly drilled the trey to put Boston on top 97-94.
Rondo went on to score the final four points of the game for Boston but Green’s bucket stood as the game-winner. His tip off of the backboard gave the C’s another chance, and they cashed in to take the season series from the two-time defending champs.
Key Box Score Line
Avery Bradley showed plenty of rust during his first three games back from an ankle sprain. That rust was long gone by Wednesday night.
After shooting just 10-of-35 from the floor during his last three games, Bradley nailed eight of his 13 attempts Wednesday night en route to a game-high 23 points. He set a new career high by nailing six 3-pointers in the game and shot 6-of-9 from long range on the night.
Bradley played 41 minutes and every one of them was critical. His stellar play helped Boston outscore Miami by 12 points while he was on the floor.
Box Score Nuggets
- The Heat committed just 12 turnovers and the Celtics committed only 13.
- Neither team grabbed more than 37 rebounds.
- Miami's scoring decreased in every quarter of the game.
- Avery Bradley scored a game-high 23 points and made a career-high six 3-pointers.
- Miami had six players score in double-figures, led by 17 points from Dwyane Wade.
- Brandon Bass accounted for Boston's only steal of the game.
- The Celtics (13) made nine more 3-pointers than the Heat (four).
- Chris Bosh grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.
- Udonis Haslem scored 12 of his 14 points in the first quarter.
- Jared Sullinger (14 points) and Kelly Olynyk (10 points) combined for 24 points off the bench.
- Rajon Rondo neared a triple-double with nine points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists.
- Both teams shot at least 49.4 percent from the field.
- Miami dished out 20 assists in the first half but only nine in the second half.
- Mario Chalmers accounted for 11 of Miami's 29 assists.
- No player in the game attempted more than five free throws.
Quote of the Night
When people found out that I was hiring Ron, I got a bunch of calls and text messages saying, ‘Darn it!’ Because they wanted to hire Ron.
Brad Stevens on assistant coach Ron Adams