Ford Keys to the Game: Celtics 100, Heat 98 (2-OT)
Paul Pierce hasn’t exactly been clutch this week. He has turned the ball over and been unable to get clean looks at the basket during critical possession after critical possession. That all changed during the second overtime of Sunday’s win against the Miami Heat.
The Celtics trailed by one point when Jeff Green skied high to rebound Dwyane Wade’s miss with 36.4 seconds remaining in the second overtime session. He quickly gave the ball up to Pierce, who immediately turned it into attack mode.
Pierce hadn’t been successful in a moment like this in a long time but that didn’t deter him from taking the biggest shot of the game. LeBron James met him on the right wing and Pierce made a move to the basket. When he saw an opening, he stopped on a dime, stepped back and sank a 22-foot jumper in James’ grill.
That jumper put the Celtics on top by one point with 30.4 seconds remaining and they never looked back from there. Boston’s defense stepped up to force the Heat into two misses from that point on and Pierce tacked on one more free throw to give the Celtics a 100-98 victory.
Say what you want about Pierce’s recent stretch of play, but the man doesn't shy away from the big moments. He once again showed us why he relishes them on Sunday.
Key Box Score Line
On the day that Mr. Triple-Double himself was thrown onto the injured list, someone else stepped up to take his place. His name is Paul Pierce.
Pierce notched his first triple-double of the season by racking up 17 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists during Sunday’s victory over the Heat. LeBron James’ numbers may have been much more gaudy, but Pierce’s numbers were much more important.
Boston’s captain struggled at times, as he did commit six turnovers, but he is the man who led the Celtics to a win. Pierce scored in the clutch and was the only Boston player to dish out an assist in either of the overtime sessions.
Box Score Nuggets
- The Celtics scored 19 points off of Miami's 21 turnovers.
- Paul Pierce and Dwyane Wade tied for the game high in turnovers with six apiece.
- LeBron James scored a game-high 34 points on 14-for-31 shooting.
- Neither team led by more than eight points at any moment of the game.
- Paul Pierce notched a triple-double with 17 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
- Both teams shot less than 41 percent from the field.
- Both teams made five 3-pointers.
- Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with 24 points.
- There were 20 ties and 19 lead changes in the game.
- Ray Allen, in his first game back at TD Garden, scored 21 points off of the bench for Miami.
- Four Celtics grabbed four rebounds apiece.
- Garnett (45 minutes) and Pierce (49 minutes) each logged major minutes for the second consecutive game.
- This was Boston's second consecutive double overtime game.
Quote of the Night
I think it sucks. It's terrible. As much as a competitor and as much as I've been a rival with Boston over the years, I never want to see anyone go down and knowing the competitor that he is and knowing how talented he is, I think it's terrible.
LeBron James on Rajon Rondo's season-ending ACL tear