Heat Crowd Silenced After Celtics Go On Devastating 6-1 Run to Begin Half

6/6/12 in NBA   |   GFortier   |   520 respect

June 5, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; A general view of shirts laid out for fans in game five of the Eastern Conference finals between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat of the 2012 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Arena.  Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIREThere were just 9 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter of the pivotal Game 5 between the Heat and Celtics when the Miami crowd fell silent, the notion that a win may not be in the stars for them tonight creeping into the back of their minds. Boston had emerged from the locker room after halftime with a sense of purpose, an actual desire to win a basketball game. The Heat didn't even see it coming.

The Celtics, led masterfully by their wizard-imp point guard Rajon Rondo, scored a basket. The Heat, stunned by this injustice, ran very quickly to the other end of the court, gave the ball to Lebron James, but somehow did not manage to score, a fadeaway jumpshot going for a long rebound and a transition basket for the Celtics. Before they knew it a devastating 2-0 run had turned into a unfathomable 4-0 rampage. Running back down to their end of the court they managed to get the ball back into Lebron's hands, at which point the embattled superstar gave South Beach one more chance to hope, a moment that will forever be remembered as "The Attempt." 

James, receiving the ball at the top of the key, strung together two consecutive basketball moves, charged towards the rim, drew the foul and threw the ball into the air. 

"To be honest I don't remember a thing from that possession," said James. "I just kind of closed my eyes, yelled real loud, and found myself at the line, with all eyes on me as I stared down one of the most difficult shots in the game." 

James hit one of two free throws. The crowd, for a moment, was considering the idea of excitement. And then it all came crumbling down.

"That's basketball," said Dwyane Wade after the game, staring listlessly through his post-game depression glasses. "Your team hits a free throw, you're psyched, and all of a sudden the opponent's at the other end, scoring yet another basket."

The Celtics had just completed their 6-1 run. The score was 56-52 in favor of Boston. The crowd was speechless, inconsolable, standing in line for the bathroom and filing out of the arena.  Miami, unable to anticipate such a nightmare, had not bought enough coke for this.

"I don't even know why I root for this team anymore," said one fan while sitting in traffic following the fateful 3rd quarter. "They promised us six championships, it sounded amazing, but I didn't know there'd be so much basketball along the way. The Celtics can just have it if they want it that bad."

Though the series is not over, the Heat will face elimination in the Boston Garden, an arena James describes as "unsettlingly loud and yelly."

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