Ford Keys to the Game: Celtics 79, Heat 93
Celtics 79, Heat 93
If you happened to watch the first quarter of Monday’s Game 1 between the Celtics and Heat, you, along with everyone else watching, could see that Boston was completely out of rhythm offensively.
If you happened to watch the second quarter, you and everyone else would have seen that Boston located its offensive rhythm and picked the Heat apart to the tune of 35 points.
Everything was fine and dandy for the C’s as they headed into halftime tied up at 46-46 thanks to that second-quarter outburst. The problem is that the offensive woes that plagued them during the first quarter returned in the second half, and they never went away.
Boston’s final two quarters consisted of only 33 total points. Yes, that’s two less points than it scored in the second quarter alone. When the Celtics failed to consistently score in the third quarter, Miami took a commanding advantage in the game.
The Heat outscored the Celtics by 11 points in the third period thanks to 55.6 percent shooting and 16 combined points from LeBron James (10) and Dwyane Wade (six). Boston actually attempted four more shots in the period but made four less than Miami did.
When the Celtics build up numbers like that against a team of Miami’s caliber, it’s going to come back to haunt them at some point. The process began midway through the third quarter, when Boston trailed 55-52.
Miami’s lead gradually increased from that point on in the third period. It quickly bumped up to seven at the 6:26 mark of the quarter, just 43 seconds after the C’s had made it a three-point game. When James put home two free throws with 2:55 remaining in the third, the Heat had bumped their lead up to 10 points. It eventually grew to 13 points before Miami headed into the final period with an 11-point advantage.
The final seven minutes of the third period essentially turned this game from a competitive contest into a controlling victory for the Heat. They wound up winning by 14 points, causing Doc Rivers to pull most of his starters with several minutes left in regulation.
Key Box Score Line
LeBron James played like an MVP yet again. He delivered a stellar performance against the Boston Celtics in Game 1, leading the contest in both scoring (32 points) and rebounding (13 boards). Those two categories, however, aren’t the only areas where James showed up in a big way.
In addition to his points and rebounds, James contributed across the board with three assists, one steal and three blocked shots. He was efficient in gathering those numbers, too. He shot 14-for-22 from the field and attempted a game-high nine free throws. Despite having the ball in his hands more than any other player, he committed just three turnovers.
Box Score Nuggets
- Boston committed just nine turnovers in the game.
- LeBron James (32) and Dwyane Wade (22) combined for 54 points, which was just 11 less points than all of Boston's starters scored.
- James also led the game in rebounds with 10.
- Boston shot just 39.5 percent from the field.
- Miami blocked 11 shots, led by James' three blocks.
- Paul Pierce shot just 5-of-18 from the field.
- The Heat outrebounded the Celtics by a count of 48-33.
- Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade tied for the game-high in assists with seven apiece.
- Boston shot just 11-for-21 from the free-throw line, including a 3-for-7 performance from Ray Allen.
- Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
- Shane Battier contributed a double-double for Miami with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
- The Celtics were whistled for five technical fouls in the game.
- Miami led from start to finish.
- Both teams grabbed at least 10 offensive rebounds.