Home > Boston Celtics > Celtics win game 3, now down 2-1

Celtics win game 3, now down 2-1

The Celtics have brought this series back to within 1, as they won game 3, 97-81. Shaquille O’Neal made his much-anticipated return, but the Celtics may have lost Rajon Rondo. Late in the 3rd quarter, Rondo suffered a dislocated elbow. He would return to the game, but his left arm hung limp for the rest of the game. The Celtics started and ended this game strong. Garnett and Pierce really dominated Miami all night, and did not allow the Big 3 of Miami to get going. D-Wade was the only 1 of the Big 3 to have a good night. LeBron was pedestrian, and Bosh was invisible. The only reason the Heat were in this game, is because their bench came alive, scoring 35 points. If the Celtics can repeat this performance on Monday night, look for the C’s to head back to Miami with the series tied at 2.

Garnett dunks on 3 Heat.

Garnett leads the Celtics to a game 3 win.

1st Half

Boston started strong, showing the Heat that there was still a lot left to this series. They were really dominating early, they just need to sustain this for the entire game. Pierce was leading the C’s early, scoring 10 points midway through the 1st. Boston had the lead out to 11 at one point. The Heat fought back though. Bosh was giving the team nothing, with Wade and LeBron barely contributing. Joel Anthony was the one leading the Heat back. He was the leading scorer with 6 for the Heat. The end of the 1st quarter saw the return of Shaquille O’Neal. He was in for about 2 minutes, and looked very slow and old. Hopefully his body clogs up some space, so that the Heat can’t drive inside as hard as they would like. The Celtics lead the 1st quarter, 27-21. The Heat started the 2nd strong, going on a 5-0 run. The Heat were succeeding because of their bench. The Boston D had shut down Miami’s big 3, so the bench had to step up. Boston extended their lead momentarily, before Miami went on an 10-0 run. The bench for Miami had 21 points. Miami was now up 40-34 midway through the 2nd quarter. The Celtics scorers had gone cold, before Garnett finally hit a jump shot. That jump started something in the Celtics, as the scoring touch came back. Wade missed a 3, and Boston follows that up with a 3 by West. Boston had come right back with a 7-0 run of their own to reclaim the lead, 41-40. Pierce follows that up with a hard foul on a dunk attempt by Wade, with no extracurricular activity. That’s good basketball, and something the Celtics need to do more of to assert themselves in this series. Wade wouldn’t be discouraged though, as he hit a bad angle jumper to bet the lead back for Miami. West drives for a lay-up, and gets slammed down by James. He came up holding his left shoulder. It didn’t affect his shot though, as he hit a 3 following a Boston defensive rebound. The Celtics had the ball with under 15 seconds left, and Rondo held the ball near mid-court. He finally ran up inside the 3 point line, looking for a play. He had a wide open lane to shoot, but instead made a jump pass to no one. He was looking for Jeff Green, but he ran right by the ball. Miami would get the ball for about 5 seconds, but would not make their final shot. The 2nd quarter ended with the Heat up, 46-44.

2nd Half

Garnett started thing for the Celtics, hitting a jump-shot to tie the game. The Heat follow that up with an embarrassing shot by Bosh that hit the side of the backboard. Rondo again tried to get a pass to an unsuspecting O’Neal, and turned the ball over. He now has 5 turnovers in the game. Not a great game for him so far. Rondo needs to drive to the basket more, and get points. He has not scored thus far in the game. And right on cue, Rondo drives to the basket for a lay-up. Boston went on a 9-1 run to start the 3rd. Rondo drives for another lay-up, but is stuffed by James. Garnett the rebound, back to Rondo, who gets it to Pierce for the 3. I know he got stuffed, but that’s the kind of game that Rondo needs to play. The Celtics have a chance to run away with this game if Rondo could start scoring. Boston had the lead up to 10, when Miami brought the ball up court. Wade was working on Rondo, and turned his back into Rondo. Rondo poked the ball away from Wade, and Wade tangled up with Rondo. Wade grabbed onto Rondo, and took him down to the court. Rondo landed awkwardly on his arm, with his left elbow bending backwards. He had to be helped off the court. Very classless and disturbing move by Wade. Wade received a flagrant foul. Wade then received another foul by knocking down Ray Allen, who was trying to get a rebound. Wade had quickly become a villain at TD Garden. Another scare for the Celtics, as Pierce hits a lay-up, and then backs into the cameras. He came up limping, but would come back into the game. Pierce and Garnett are leading the charge for the Celtics, so they can’t afford to lose Pierce. The lead is back up to 11 for the Celtics, tying their largest of the night. Garnett hits a 2, and the lead is 15 for the C’s. That gives him 24 points, 12 in the 3rd alone. Rondo has returned, and is back on the Boston bench. Rondo suffered a dislocated left elbow, but the docs popped it back in. The 3rd quarter ended, with the Celtics up 72-61. The Celtics started the 4th with a lay-up by Jeff Green. Bosh came back by getting on the board for the 1st time since the 1st quarter. He hit 2 free-throws, giving him 6 points on the night (4-4 FT). Allen knocks down a 3, and Boston takes a 16 point lead. Rondo injects some life into the crowd, after a deflection by Green, Rondo grabbed the ball and took the ball down the court for a half-dunk. I say half-dunk, because Rondo got to the rim and just laid the ball in. The lead was now out to 18 for the Celtics. Midway through the 4th, it is all Celtics. Garnett hits his 28 point, and the Celtics are maintaining a 15 point lead. Pierce hits a 3, and that should do it for the Heat. We are now under 2 minutes to play, and the Celtics are up by 15. The Celtics are right back in this series, winning game 3, 97-81.

Post-Game Breakdown

This was the game I was expecting from the Celtics. The fought hard, shut down Miami’s big 3, and dominated this game. Garnett was the leading scorer in the game with 28 point, and 18 rebounds. Pierce had 27 points including 5 3-pointers, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. Allen quietly had a good night, scoring 15 points. Rondo had a quiet 1st half, but really energized the team late in the 3rd. Coming back after dislocating his left elbow gave the rest of the C’s lots of energy. You could see the Boston players feeding off of him. Rondo ended the night with 6 points, and 11 assists. The bench provided some help, with West getting 11, and Green getting 6. But overall, the bench was non-existent, providing 19 points. Compare that to the Heat’s bench scoring 35. Although, the reason the Heat bench scored so much, was because they had to.

The Heat starters were pathetic. LeBron had 15 points, 5 assists, and 7 rebounds. He was only 3-7 from the free-throw line. Bosh was invisible all night. He was just 1-6 in over 30 minutes on court time. He ended the night with 6 points, and a very pathetic showing. Dwayne Wade was the best amongst the starters. He led the Heat with 23 points and 7 assists, but was just 1-5 from 3-point range. That’s where the difference was in the game. The Celtics Big 3 outperformed the Heat’s Big 3. The Celtics defense shut down Bosh and LeBron. They need to continue to play that type of defense if they want to come back in this series. I still feel good about the Celtics in this series. As I stated in my game 1 post heading into game 2, I would feel more confident if the Celtics lost game 2, but won game 3, than the other way around. I say that because the only thing the Celtics have going for them is their home court. I do not think the Heat can win a game in Boston, and I do think that the Celtics can win at least 1 game in Miami. I look for the Heat to come out strong in game 3, and push hard for a win. I just think that the Celtics know what’s at stake, and will put away the Heat in game 3.

  1. steve
    May 8, 2011 at 7:36 am

    This was a great win, they played great throughout, not bad for a bunch of banged up old men!

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