Sunday, September 2, 2012

Deja Vu in 3rd lifts Heat above Celtics, 113-107

KG was held to 10 points, only to foul out in the fourth quarter, but even worse, was beaten to the punch by Chris Bosh in the paint, who seized 21 rebounds and a crushing 31 points, mainly from second chance attempts at the rim.

While Rajon Rondo (24 points) had a strong first half, he ended stuck somewhere in the middle, choosing to bite the bullet and come up short on a few shots down the stretch instead of finding a way to get the ball to a stagnant teammate caught inside of Miami's tough defensive web, which made things tougher for Boston's leader to create space for offensive opportunities on the floor. Driving to the rim, Rondo's gutsy style was shot down by Miami's defense and left him 9-22 on the night, after being forced to rely on his inconsistent jump shot.

Most absent of all was Paul Pierce (a meager 8 points), who failed to show energy on the floor until it was too late, and even then, he was missing shots he'd normally make and still incapable of slowing down LeBron James (23 points, 8 assists). Meanwhile, while Boston struggled to find a groove, D-Wade was busy scoring 28 points by driving to the rim and dunking on all of Boston's comatose big men, who failed to stop him or at least humor him between the 3 point line and the rim, while also dishing out 10 assists to Ray Allen, who agonized his former team further with 19 points.

In the first half, Boston hung with the Heat and held off their running attempts, but the 3rd quarter was a different story altogether, a story we heard nearly identically last time these two bitter rivals squared off. In the 3rd, Miami scored 30 to Boston's 17, killing them on the boards, and forcing the visiting Celtics to shoulder a strong comeback in the 4th, defiantly outscoring the champs 42-31 in a losing battle.

A tease of dominance by Paul Millsap (17 points) and some face-saving 3's by Josh Howard & Jason Terry closed the gap, but merely prolonged the inevitable. Had a few more of those threes crashed into the basket, heeding Boston's beggary, the outcome might've been different. But the better team was obvious tonight. Boston was outrun again, despite a misleading first half, but their disorganized defense was inexcusable, which couldn't have inspired a friendly locker room afterwards.

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