Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Celtics beat the Heat 94-90, leads 3-2
Kevin Garnett finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds, Paul Pierce scored 19 - including a huge 3-pointer over LeBron James' outstretched arm with 52.9 seconds left - and the Celtics beat the Heat 94-90 on Tuesday night, taking a 3-2 lead in the East finals that now shift to Boston for Game 6 on Thursday night.
James finished with 30 points and 13 rebounds for Miami, though he went 8 minutes without scoring in the final quarter. Dwyane Wade scored 27 for the Heat, who got no more than nine from anyone else.
Pierce's 3 put Boston up 90-86. Miami got within two points twice, and argued that it should have had a steal with 8.8 seconds left. Instead, a foul was called on Udonis Haslem, Garnett made two free throws, and the Celtics knew they had just stolen one on Miami's home floor.
Now all they need is one home win of their own to clinch a trip to either Oklahoma City or San Antonio for Game 1 of the NBA finals. The title series starts June 12.
The Celtics were down by 13 points in the second quarter, then down nine in the third, and answered both times - prevailing on a night where they shot just 41 percent, and got outrebounded 49-39.
Allen and Mickael Pietrus scored 13 apiece for the Celtics, who got 10 from Brandon Bass. Pietrus hit two huge 3-pointers in the fourth quarter for Boston, which remained perfect with this core when facing maybe the most pivotal situation a best-of-seven can offer - a Game 5 with a series tied 2-2.
Pierce, Garnett, Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen are now 9-0 in that scenario.