Celtics 107, Heat 102


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What you might view as a chance for Dwyane Wade to hit a big shot, Tony Allen viewed as a chance to make a big stop.
With the Celtics up 3 with under a minute left, Tony Allen dug in on defense with Dwyane Wade, an offensive fireball, dribbling in front of him trying to possibly tie the game.
Wade ran Allen into a Jermaine O’Neal screen, but Allen hung with the play, swiping at the ball as Wade tried to get to the paint and coming up with the steal.
Allen got hacked trying to go the other way and ended up at the free throw line where he knocked down both attempts putting the Celtics up 99-94, and even though the Heat managed to make it a game of foul shots in the last 30 seconds, they never got closer than three points as the Celtics held on for a 107-102 win.
With Paul Pierce (strained foot) out, Allen filled in, scoring just 6 points but his presence on defense has been critical in recent games, with the Celtics sticking him on Kobe Bryant, Caron Butler and Dwyane Wade, who scored a game-high 30 points but was unable to get a shot off with the game within reach. 
The Celtics leaned on Ray Allen (23 points on 7 of 15 shooting and 8 of 9 from the free throw line) and Rajon Rondo (22 points, 14 assists) for scoring with Paul Pierce (strained foot) on the bench in street clothes.
Eddie House’s 16 points gave the Celtics a huge lift off the bench. he had been up and down all season but he went on a 7-0 run by himself in the second quarter, and stretched what was 88-86 lead to 93-86 by hitting a 3-pointer with 4:41 left in the fourth then breaking free for an easy fast break layup.
Kevin Garnett dished out a season-high nine assists to go with 14 points and six rebounds, banging with Udonis Haslem down the stretch, getting to the line for crucial free throws (2-3)
The Celtics were able to overcome suspect defense (the Heat shot 52.1 percent) with another strong fourth quarter (they outscored the Heat 33-28 in the final frame), and Tony Allen’s timely stop. They put together consecutive wins for the third time this year, and with New Jersey coming in on Friday they have a chance to win three straight game for the first time since December.


FOURTH QUARTER
99-94, Celtics, :36.5: Tony Allen’s got it in his mind that he’s the C’s defensive stopper and with the Heat going to Dwyane Wade in the clutch, he came through with a huge steal. 
Screened by Jermaine O’Neal, Allen went under it,  and before Wade could get to the paint, Allen reached in and poked at the ball, coming up with the steal, getting fouled and sinking two free throws to give the Cs a 99-94 lead with 36.5 second left.

96-91 Celtics: You’ve got to like the Celtics going to Kevin Garnett in the post late in games, especially against Udonis Haslem, a niche player Doc Rivers has respect for. He backed Haslem down, banging until he got the foul call and hit 1 of 2 free throws.

95-91 Celtics, 2;27: Kevin Garnett and Udonis Haslem went back and forth on a couple possessions. Garnett hit a nice turnaround baseline J  over Haslem in a good-D-better-shot situations. Haslem came back down and got a tough basket down low, getting the foul and knocking down the free throw to keep the game within striking distance for the Heat.

93-86, Celtics, 4:39: As quickly as the Celtics made their run, the Heat cut into it, getting a 3-ball from Quentin Richardson that made it 88-86. 
But Eddie House, having his best game in a while, drilled a big three, then ran out, caught an outlet and got an easy lay-up to put the Celtics back up 7.

88-78, Celtics: The Celtics are putting together another nice fourth quarter, going on a 9-1 burst sparked by the kind of ball movement that created easy shots for Rasheed Wallace, and Kendrick Perkins.
Rajon Rondo used a little slight of hand, faking a pass to Kevin Garnett and bouncing it in the paint to Kendrick Perkins for two points that capped the run.
The Heat have made just one shot from the floor in the quarter.  

79-74, Celtics 9:40: Three of Glen Davis’ five boards have come on the offensive glass. He just got a nice putback off a Rasheed Wallace miss. It gave him 6 points to go with those boards.
One more whack as we beat the dead horse that is his nickname: Celtics blog recommended the name “11th Hour,” and he seemed to be feeling it.

THIRD QUARTER
74-74, End of Quarter: Miami’s shooting 57 percent from the floor. If they keep it up they’ll be the ninth team to shoot at least 50 percent on the Cs this season. The Cs are 3-5 when they let teams shoot 50 percent.

73-70, Celtics: Seeing Wade after seeing Kobe play here, you could argue that obviously Bryant’s the more skilled basketball player, but Wade’s athletic ability’s in another stratosphere. He just broke to start a fast break, caught a long outlet like a touchdown pass, waited for his defender to speed by him, then finished with an easy two-handed lay-in. 
He came back down and blurred by for a too-easy finger roll. 

He’s got a game-high 21 points and 10-boards, and as long as it’s a one-shot game, you’ve got to be as scared of him in late games as Kobe.
 
66-60, Celtics: One hard Rajon Rondo drive led to two Miami Heat techs. Rondo went hard to the cup, appearing to have every intention to cram the ball through either the rim or Jermaine O’Neal’s throat. 
On the way up, Rondo did what all dunkers do, he gave O’Neal an straight-arm. O’Neal was called for the foul. He argued. 
Tech.
Rafer Alston complained, too.
Tech.
Ray Allen hit the two technical free throws. Rondo made one of his two freebies for the foul.
60-58, Celtics, 8:35: Stuck in the corner by Miami’s bench with the shot clock almost up, Rajon Rondo knocked down a tough 3 at the buzzer. He’s been taking a lot of those lately, and he’s starting to knock them down. 

HALFTIME
53-51, CelticsSo this was possibly the worst foul you’ll see all night. Michael Beasley had just knocked down a 3-pointer for the top of the key that would have tied the game at 51 for the Heat going into the locker room. 
Emphasis on “would have.”
With all of two seconds on the clock, Rajon Rondo took the inbound and got ready to heave up the obligatory half-court chuck. Not thinking, Daequan Cook bumped Rondo in the act of shooting, putting Rondo on the line for three shots and likely making Heat coach Erik Spoelstra more than upset.
Rondo knocked down 2 of 3, giving him 12 points for the night (along with 8 assists, three boards and three steals) and putting the Celtics ahead 53-51.
Kevin Garnett’s having another solid night offensively. He’s got 9 points on 4 of 6 shooting, and he actually said ‘my bad’ after making a lay-up. He was likely kicking himself for not making the extra pass. He’s got a season high 6 assists, working the two-man game with Rajon Rondo to perfection.
The Celtics defense is a little suspect. Dwyane Wade’s got 13 points and seven assists without looking like he’s putting in a whole lot of effort. Rafer Alston’s scored 10 points in 14 minutes.

SECOND QUARTER
45-40 Celtics, 3:11: Ray Allen just hit a floater of some decent  ball movement. Dwayne Wade got involved a little offensively,  blowing by Ray Allen then dishing to Jermaine O’Neal for a dunk then using a pick-and-roll to get a mismatch with with Kendrick Perkins and knock down a fall away.
Also, Eddie House and Rafer Alston are chasing each other around, which is why this moment will never die.

39-32, Celtics, 6:30: ” … Sheed for 3 … ” 
After throwing a no look pass to no one in particular, Wallace hit a 3-ball from the top of the key.

36-29, Celtics, 8:48: Eddie House went on a 7-0 run by himself, splashing a jumper a few steps inside the 3-point line baseline, then drilling a 3 on a catch-and-shoot off a Rasheed Wallace pass to make it a two-shot game. Then, after being fouled with a clear path to the basket, he drained two free throws and the Celtics got the ball back.
He only played 12 minutes in Washington missing his only shot. In Atlanta, he only saw 7, going 0 for 4. 

FIRST QUARTER 
27-26, Celtics: Rajon Rondo stumbled his way to a go-ahead
lay-up, but the Celtics couldn’t keep Dwyane Wade from getting to the free throw line. He drained 1 of 2 to make it a 1-point game going into the second.

Offensively, the Cs are clicking. Assists on nine of 13 field goals. Five of their nine rebounds have come on the offensive glass. The Kevin Garnett-Rajon Rondo combination’s been good for 15 points.

They’ve got to start making stops. Miami,15th in the league in shooting percentage,  currently has a  64.7 percent clip.


22-19, Celtics: 2:28: Kevin Garnett just finished off another Rondo pass, picking it up after it bounced off Quentin Richardson and getting an easy deuce. All 22 of the Celtics’ points have come in the paint.

16-15, Celtics , 3:43: Kevin Garnett finished strong with a one-handed flush off a Rajon Rondo feed.

12-12, Heat 5:57: Kendrick Perkins just picked up his second foul, forcing Doc Rivers to put Rasheed Wallace on the floor early. 

Boston has been charged with an NBA-high 127 offensive fouls this season. Kendrick Perkins is responsible for 32 of them, tying him for the second-most in the league (Dwight Howard, 45).
12-8 Heat, 8:07: Jermaine O’Neal just splashed a baseline jumper over Kendrick Perkins. They’re shooting 55.6 percent.

WELCOME TO THE GARDEN 
Paul Pierce isn’t on the floor. He’s actually on the bench in a brown suit. An improved Tony Allen is. And his job is to stop the monster that is … Michael Beasley. Ray Allen’s on Dwyane Wade.
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