Friday, August 24, 2012

Heat scold Celtics in gritty dogfight

In a strange turn of events, the Heat catch fire late in the 3rd quarter, scorching away Boston's trim lead, sizzling into the final period with a 6 point lead themselves.

Jason Terry had 29 points (on 9 three pointers), but in a dramatic final minute, the man whose place he took knocked down two crucial free throws after Boston edged Miami's blazing lead to 6. Ray Allen, while only offering slim help for Miami otherwise, did the dirty work against his former team, the same team he might've been at the line for, seeking to narrow the Heat's lead even more. But no longer.

Boston's demise came from running a small lineup that enabled the lead-breaking run from Miami, courtesy of the dynamic trio in Wade, Bosh (22 points/20 rebounds) & LBJ (25 points). Flash crushed Boston's hopes of a comeback with 38 monster points, nearly equaling 3 combined Celtics in the scoring column. Meanwhile, Boston deviated from running set plays and firing up seemingly efficient shots that clanged off the rim, a major problem in the final period when Miami's lead towered up to 20. Defensively shaky all night, Boston failed to lock down the thunderous Heat and instead confined themselves, thus burdening Terry with too much responsibility, despite a laborious effort by the Ray Allen replacement.

Most noticeably absent was Rajon Rondo (4-20), who can't afford another absentminded effort like this one if Boston is going to win when it counts later in the year. Even Derek Fisher had more points than the usual sly leader of Boston, who shyed away from breaking Wade's ankles and vied for the jump shot detour instead.

While the Celtics nearly stole one in the final minute on prayers from beyond the arc, this is a wake up call for what NOT to do against elite teams. They must come to play, play hard, play smart, and play mean if they are ever going to overthrow the Miami champions.

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