Final, Celtics 120-88
In perhaps their finest playoff performance in several years, the Celtics put away the Cavaliers with ease and now take a 3-2 series lead behind six scorers in double figures, including Ray Allen with 25 and Paul Pierce with 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists. LeBron James was just awful with 15 points on 3-for-14 shooting. Game 6 is Thursday at TD Garden.
Fourth quarter, 2:50, Celtics 110-83
The Celtics have played a marvelous game and are headed home with a chance to close out the series Thursday. But this is just one win and Cleveland is still very much a dangerous team. Ray Allen leads Boston with 25 points and Paul Pierce has 21, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists in his best game of the series.
Fourth quarter, 5:50, Celtics 97-74
Celtics are learning from their Game 2 experience when they allowed a 25-point lead to be cut to 10. They are executing offensively and getting to the free throw line. They are winning the quarter, 17-11, and LeBron James doesn’t seem to have the energy of Game 3.
Fourth quarter, 8:16, Celtics 92-68
Celtics score 12 of the first 17 points of the quarter and are trying to run the offense and prevent any chance of a furious Cleveland rally, but no lead is safe here. LeBron James has just 13 points on 2-for-11 shooting while Shaquille O’Neal has 17 and 4 rebounds for Cleveland.
End of third quarter, Celtics 80-63
Celtics put on a clinic for most of the quarter, led by as many as 21, and have to play another strong quarter to close this one out. This is far, far, far from over. Ray Allen has 22 points and Rajon Rondo scored all 12 of his points in the third. LeBron James has 12 points on 2-for-11 shooting.
Third quarter, 3:02, Celtics 73-55
Celtics are playing the same type of third quarter they did in Game 2 as they attempt to build on their lead. Rajon Rondo has 9 points, 4 assists, and 1 rebound in the quarter and Mike Brown has opted to defend him with Daniel Gibson after Mo Williams gets booed for his poor defense. LeBron James (1 for 9, 10 points, 6 assists, 3 fouls)
Third quarter, 5:54, Celtics 67-52
Rajon Rondo has come alive with 8 points and two assists in the quarter and Shaquille O’Neal is keeping Cleveland close. LeBron James just scored just first bucket at the 6:15 mark.
Third quarter, 10:54, Celtics 56-44
Ray Allen buries two 3-pointers in the first 66 seconds of the half and Cleveland calls a quick time out. Rajon Rondo has four assists in the past 4:20 after none in the first 19:46 of the game.
Halftime, Celtics 50-44
Celtics take the lead early in the second quarter and streak to a 6-point halftime lead after leading by as many as 9. Rajon Rondo comes in and dishes out his only three assists in the final 3:14 of the first half. The Big Three have 29 points while LeBron James leads the Cavaliers with 8 points, all on free throws.
Second quarter, 1:14, Celtics 44-40
The Cavaliers score 6 points on two possessions, an Anderson Varejao hook, a 3-pointer from Mo Williams and loose ball foul free throw from Varejao. The Celtics are trying to hold on before half but they are making too many silly mistakes.
Second quarter, 3:28, Celtics 37-31
Celtics go on a 16-0 run without Rajon Rondo and take an 8-point lead before two free throws from LeBron James, who has yet to hit a field goal.
Second quarter, 5:28, Celtics 30-29
The Celtics chip away at the deficit and finally take their second lead on a Kevin Garnett jumper. He has 10 points and four rebounds while Rajon Rondo has no points and no assists. So the Celtics are proving they can play without his major production.
Second quarter, 9:44, Cavaliers 29-21
Celtics have gone cold from the field, with their last field goal at 2:14 of the first quarter. Cleveland on an 8-1 run and Doc Rivers calls timeout to calm things down. Rajon Rondo is still without an assist.
End of first quarter, Cavaliers 23-20
The first quarter definitely didn’t start like Game 3 and the Celtics are definitely in this one, despite four turnovers and no points and no assists from Rajon Rondo. LeBron James has yet to score either, although he did guard Rondo on the final two possessions of the first quarter.
First quarter, 1:59, Cavaliers 21-20
Definite reasons for optimism here. Paul Pierce already has 6 points and looks comfortable from the field and Kevin Garnett is devouring anyone the Cavs put on him. Rajon Rondo has yet to record an assist, so he’s due. OK, now the not-so-good news. LeBron James has yet to score, playing facilitator with four assists. The fouls are even at 3.
First quarter, 5:12, Cavaliers 15-11
Kendrick Perkins picks up his second foul on Shaquille O’Neal so the Celtics are already facing obstacles. Shaq has 6 points already while LeBron James is 0 for 1 from the field. Paul Pierce has taken five shots and has 4 points.
First quarter, 6:12, Cavaliers 13-9
Celtics are 3 for 10 from the field and look erratic but they are withstanding Cleveland’s early onslaught as the Q Arena is going crazy with their white towels. LeBron James picks up his first foul with 6:12 left.