With Boston down by one point with 11.3 seconds remaiing in the game, Celtics.com's Live Blog asked fans who would take the final shot. Prior to Boston inbounding the ball, 44% of fans voted Paul Pierce as the shooter, 36% voted Ray Allen, 9% said Rajon Rondo and 7% chose Eddie House.
The 4% who voted "Other" must have known something we didn't.
Glen Davis took a pass from Pierce and fired up a game-winning, 21-foot baseline jumper that knotted the series at 2-2 and gave the Celtics a whole new life in this series.
"Every time I shoot I kind of feel myself making game-winning shots all the time," Davis said after the game. "You always have to see it. If you see it, you will believe it. A shot like that, you have to believe you are going to make it."
Paul Pierce scored a game-high 27 points by relentlessly attacking the basket, but his fourth and final assist of the night may have been his best play of all.Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty
Davis certainly believed it, but as Doc Rivers noted, maybe more important was the fact that Pierce believed in Davis.
"We have a saying, 'Trust the pass, trust the pass,'" Rivers said. "Our best player trusted the pass."
As Rivers predicted over the past two days, a game was bound to happen where both teams played extremely well. It happened tonight, and it showed on the scoreboard during a game that featured 17 lead changes and 16 ties.
With Pierce carrying the Celtics offensively, Boston managed to pull ahead by nine points midway through the third quarter. Everything seemed to be going well for the C's until he picked up a loose ball foul, his fifth of the game, with 8:58 remaining in the fourth.
"I didn't feel like it (5th foul) was a foul," Pierce said of the play. "Turkoglu is very crafty with some of the things that he does to draw fouls. I have to tip my hat off to him for it, because I do some of the same things."
With that foul, Pierce was forced to the bench at the 7:47 mark and Orlando seized the opportunity to get back into the game.
As the Celtics captain headed to the sideline, so did the team's offense. Boston went 6:22 without scoring a field goal, and in that time frame the Magic staged a 10-2 run.
The final two points of that streak came from the unlikeliest of sources -- Dwight Howard free throws.
Howard, who had made only 47.4% of his free throws heading into tonight's game, calmly sank both shots from the charity stripe and gave Orlando its first lead since the 3:15 mark of the second quarter.
After the Magic center drained his free throws with 49.6 seconds remaining in the game, Davis answered right back with a soft jumper from the left elbow, giving the Celtics a 93-92 lead.
Stan Van Gundy opted not to take a timeout and as a result, Hedo Turkoglu fired up an ill-advised three-pointer that missed long. Luckily for the Magic, the rebound bounced all the way out to the free throw line, where Mickael Pietrus jumped for the board.
Van Gundy then called a timeout and, instead of drawing up a play for Turkoglu, their well-known clutch shooter, he gave the ball to Rashard Lewis. Lewis drove to the basket, drew a foul on Davis and hit both free throws to put the Magic back on top by one with 11.3 seconds remaining.
Rivers called timeout and drew a play intended to get Ray Allen the last shot, but initially getting the ball in the hands of his captain. Pierce hadn't made a move yet and was still on the perimeter with less than six seconds remaining. When he couldn't find an open alley or get a shot off, he found the red-hot Davis open on the baseline. He dropped off the pass and allowed Big Baby to do the rest.
Pierce scored a game-high 27 points and Davis and Rondo chipped in 21 apiece. Rondo was the team's leading rebounder and pulled down 14 boards.
Howard had a monster game with 23 points, 17 rebounds and three blocked shots, but it wasn't enough to overcome the performance by Boston's starters, who scored 93 of the team's 95 points.
Just as the Magic did in Boston, the Celtics got what they wanted from their trip to Orlando by stealing a victory and are heading back home with home court advantage restored.
Davis' line-drive jumper held the weight of the word on its path to the basket. That shot helped the Champs avoid falling into what usually is an insurmountable hole.
"It might be end up being the biggest shot of his career, especially with the momentum change," Rondo said. "We could have gone down 3-1, instead it is 2-2 and we go back home and get the home court advantage."