Saturday, September 22, 2012

ESF - Boston (2-0) @ Chicago (0-2) - Game 3

The facts would tell you that Boston's shooting efficiency finally hit a brick wall in the Windy City tonight as the Celtics were busy staring at an 18 point hole to start the 2nd half, meaning at least a 5 game series against the Chicago Bulls, who came out firing away with accuracy and out-hustling Boston on the boards. Why? Because Kevin Garnett's shot refused to fall and Rajon Rondo was being clobbered in the paint, leading to thunderous blocks and clear path dunks for Chicago.

"The Truth", however, would tell you that Paul Pierce would play savior to his one and only team, the Boston Celtics, knock down several three-pointers, while big men KG and Roy Hibbert would corral the necessary rebounds for an 8-0 run, a miraculous effort that saw Boston defiantly tie the game with no time to spare in the 3rd quarter.

The 4th quarter was a circus. Kevin Garnett had 5 fouls, a scary spot for Boston, who despite KG's shooting troubles, needed the size in the paint to stop Derrick Rose from silencing Boston's comeback hopes. But in a gritty, pie-facing showdown, the Celtics somehow, aided by Paul Pierce's leadership, a 3 by Kevin Martin and more than one offensive put-backs gave Boston a 6 point lead as the final minute of regulation ticked down.

Yet, Chicago's energy level was off the charts tonight. They charged down the court, stampeding over Boston's measly 6 point lead and taking a 1 point lead with little time to spare. So what did Kevin Martin choose to do off the inbound? He charged back at Chicago, taking on two Bulls in the paint with a gutsy drive to the rim as the ball floated into the hoop.

With only 4.7 seconds left on the clock, a defensive lapse gave Joakim Noah a perfect drive to the basket, but Roy Hibbert and Charlie Villanueva were there to respond to the threat. The ball went up, rattled, spun, bounced, but finally failed to fall in, freezing the Bulls inspiring series-changing effort with a 108-107 victory for Boston instead.

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