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Mikael Pietrus locking down LeBron James
We all know these games rest on the shoulders of the superstars (LeBron James, Rajon Rondo, and Dwayne Wade), but in the two Celtics victories, the bench players are the ones bridging the gap between a win and a loss.
In Game 4's win, Mikael Pietrus and Keyon Dooling stepped up in big ways to even the series at two games each. Dooling scored a surprising ten points, knocking down two three-pointers in the second quarter, as Boston took an 18-point first half lead.
And while Dooling was the offensive spark plug, Pietrus was the top defensive contributor off the bench. Pietrus was the one who forced the ball out of LeBron James' hands in the final possession of regulation. In overtime, Pietrus drew the crucial charge that gave James his sixth foul, disqualifying him from the remaining 1:51 in the game.
It was the first time James had fouled out since April of 2008.
"Our second unit, they come in and they give unbelievable effort and energy," said head coach Doc Rivers. "I think, in a lot of ways, it inspires the starting unit when they see it. It's been terrific."
In the Celtics' Game 3 win, Marquis Daniels was the final piece to the collective puzzle, shooting four of six from the field for nine points, as well as grabbing five boards.
On any given night, the Celtics are able to rely on these three guys off their bench to step up however their services are needed.