"I can taste it," Kevin Garnett said, and he might be right.
The Celtics and Lakers matched up for the fourth time in the seven-game series Thursday night at the Staples Center. The Lakers were banking on a turn-around series down 2-0, and back in LA.
Coming off a third game victory, they had a new sense of hope, and the first quarter of Game Four burst to a 35-14, and a 58-40 half time advantage.
However, this was the NBA Finals and Celtics had nothing to lose from this point on in the playoffs, and all the more to gain. Whatever went on in Boston's locker room between Doc Rivers and the players, it got the message through.
In the second half, the Celtics gave up only a combined 33 points, slowing Kobe Bryant down, as well as allowing him to only score 17 points on a 6-19 shooting. Being the best defense throughout the entire year, the Boston Celtics allowed the offensive-minded Lakers only 41% from the floor, 28% shooting from three-point land.
The Big Three stepped up in a big way, scoring 55 of the Celtics 97 points, including Ray Allen's put-away layup with seconds remaining in the fourth.
Even though Paul Pierce was voted Game Four's MVP, and has been the most talked about player in this series, the three-point shooting James Posey had a tremendous game that allowed the Celtics to press closer and closer. He posted 18 points (season average 7.4), and was a tremendous factor once again, with the three ball going in four out of eight times, while the rest of the Celtics were 4-14.
The Celtics not only won Game Four, putting them one game away from a miraculous 17th NBA title, but they also made history already, coming back from a 24-point deficit against the historical powerhouse Lakers.
No team previously in the Finals has ever come back from more than 15 points down after the first quarter and won, and the Celtics were down by 21.
Was it Doc Rivers rallying the troops, and the Big Three and Crew realizing that winning was what they were set out to do, or was it the Lakers melting down that decided the game?
Paul Pierce said after the game, "I want to go out there, and try and win Game Five on Father's Day, and then I'll be able to breathe. Right now, I'm waiting to exhale."
Will Paul Pierce get his wish to win a championship on Father's Day, thus making a fairy tale come true, or will stubborn Kobe Bryant and the Lakers have enough gas to run with the Celtics, and come back from a 3-1 deficit, which is something that has never been done in the finals previously?
Find out Sunday, June 15th 9:00 pm EDT. Bring the popcorn, because you won't want to miss a run at a historic comeback or an epic journey complete by the Big Three!