Boston trailing in the series 2-1 and holding a double digit lead during the second half of game 4 was the same way last years meeting between these two teams began to unfold. Miami held to the script by erasing the deficit and forcing overtime at the TD Garden.
This time, the ending would be a little different. The outcome of the game lied in Dwyane Wade’s hands, as he dribbled the ball beyond the three point line with 10 seconds to go in overtime.
“We told him, ‘Watch the pump fake’,” Doc Rivers said of Marquis Daniels, who was guarding Wade for the game’s final possession.
Wade dribbled to his left and got Daniels to commit to the pump fake that Rivers had previously warned him about. Wade took a step back and shot a wide open three pointer.
“It seemed like the longest shot ever. Like one of those commercials” Daniels told reporters after the game.
“I thought it looked good when it left his hand” Rivers told the media. “Red wasn’t going to let that go in. Not in the Boston Garden.”
Rajon Rondo put on another masterful performance. The Celtics were leading 52-38 with about three minutes left in the first half when Rondo threw a pin point bounce pass to Paul Pierce, who was between four Heat defenders, for a bucket and a foul.
“[Rondo] is throwing the ball on that bounce pass to a spot on the floor, that few can see and I’m going to say, that anyone else in the league can’t do right now” Announcer Jeff Van Gundy raved after the play.
Rondo hit a tear drop in the lane, with the game knotted at 83 a piece, after the Celtics failed to score on four straight possessions. He ended the game 15 points, 15 assists and 5 rebounds. He also played 47 minutes and has played in 100 of 106 possible minutes in the last two games.
Rondo produced his 13th game of 10 or more assist in this post-season. He is currently only the 4th player in NBA history to have 13 or more 10 plus assist games in a single post season. Steve Nash had 13 such games in 2006, and John Stockton has 14 of them in 1992. And of course, Magic Johnson is the leader in that category with 19 games where he produced 10 or more assists in a single post-season in 1988.
The Celtics evened up the series 2-2 and will head to Miami for game 5 on Tuesday. The home team has won game 5, in a best of 7 series, 20 of the last 25 times. The winner of game 5 goes on to win the series 83 percent of the time.
Game Notes: Both Pierce and James fouled out during the overtime. It was the first time James fouled out of a game while playing for the Heat. It was the third time Pierce has fouled out in the last five games, and second game in a row.