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For the second consecutive game, the Celtics jumped out on the Cavaliers early only to see the lead evaporate to four points at half time (52-48).
Rajon Rondo carried 10 assists into the half. Rasheed Wallace finally joined the Celtics 89 games into the season. He lit a fire off the bench hitting from every angle of the floor. He hit his first five shot's and scored 13 points in seven minutes in the first half.
Is this the 'Sheed we've all been hearing about?
I am unsure how close we got to the "good-Sheed" his fans have been taunting us with but he compensated for a Celtics foul festival in the first half that had Pierce benched with three and the Cavs out-shooting the C's at the line 18-5.
As the third quarter opened, the Celtics had a fire in their eye and a bounce in there "aging" feet. The Celtics opened up a 25 point lead with just under 10 minutes remaining. The fan's at the Q and the home team looked shocked. In the blink of an eye, the Cavs went on a 15-0 run, cutting the lead to 10.
Doc Rivers, infuriated with his club, called the appropriate time-out and tried to settle his team down. The Celtics had blown double digit lead's to the Cavs all season and Doc was not about to watch it happen again—in the most important game to date.
From the Boston Globe:
"We were stuck on 91 points for an hour it felt like,’’ said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. “I just kept telling our guys ‘the clock is still moving.’ We need one bucket. We just need somebody to make one shot.’ ’’
"We knew what happened last time when we let up,’’ said Kendrick Perkins. “Doc said we’ve got to keep taking punches. When they throw punches we’ve got to take them and keep coming.’’
The Celtics finally closed out the game on a late Paul Pierce (14 points) layup and Kevin Garnett (18 points/10 rebounds) jumper. Rajon Rondo finished with 13 points and tied the franchise playoff record with 19 assists. Rondo settled the team down when needed and called plays for Ray Allen, who finished with 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 1 steal.
The Celtics stifling defense held LeBron to 24 points on 7-15 shooting. The official's helped out LeBron's scoring with 15 free throw attempts—the King clanked five of them.
LeBron wasn't the only Cav who fell hard under the Celtics blanket of lock-down defense. The Cavs shot 40 percent as a team and 19 percent from three-point range. The Celtics dominated the boards, 43-32, behind 9 boards from Kendrick Perkins and 10 rebounds from KG.
Rasheed Wallace may have been the difference however. 'Sheed showed that when the Celtics second unit has a go-to-guy on the court, they can hold and even expand a lead. Rasheed finished with 17 points in 18 minutes.
Most importantly, we saw the effect of Rasheed on the floor when he is hitting. He spread the court and opened the driving lanes. Let's hope the old man has a few more game's like that left in him—with Rasheed Wallace and the Big FOUR in full effect, the Celtics can beat any team in the NBA in seven games.
As the game was out of reach for the Cavs, fan's hit the exits hard but not before showering there own team with boo's and a run away beer bottle that smashed on the hardwood.
Like the flying bottle that appeared from nowhere, LeBron rediscovered his "injured" elbow in the second half when he realized the ball was not bouncing his way.
Most will say that we have just witnessed LBJ's worst game of the playoffs and that he will be back with a vengeance in game three. The Celtics have two words to combat that with...READ MORE
Tim Donaghy will be appearing on the Celtics Late Night Show on May 10 for a two-hour, unscripted, live interview. He will be accepting callers questions. Mark your calender.