|Paul Pierce, SF 40 MIN | 8-16 FG | 8-10 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 27 PTS | +9
There’s no doubt that the Heat made Paul Pierce work especially hard tonight. His response was vintage “Paul Pierce” efficiency. He got to the line, knocked down big three-pointer after big three-pointer, and somehow finished with a team-high 27 points on just 16 shots. Great game.
|Brandon Bass, PF 39 MIN | 4-8 FG | 4-4 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | +10
When Brandon Bass goes beyond what’s asked of him on offense, nine times out of 10 the result isn’t a good one. Tonight he did was he was supposed to do—knock down jump shots—while giving what appeared to be 100% effort on the defensive end.
|Kevin Garnett, PF 33 MIN | 11-14 FG | 2-2 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 24 PTS | -2
Just…wow. I can’t even remember the last time Kevin Garnett put a team on his back like he did tonight. 11-14 from the field, a perfect 5-5 down the stretch, elite defense for 33 minutes. What else can be said about this performance? When Garnett plays like he did tonight, the Boston Celtics are one of the best teams in basketball.
|Rajon Rondo, PG 40 MIN | 6-11 FG | 5-8 FT | 4 REB | 15 AST | 18 PTS | +9
Normally when Rondo takes over games it’s because he’s everywhere, doing everything. Tonight was different. He picked his spots, knocking down jumpers when jumpers needed to be made, stopping Miami runs with his aggressiveness, and dropping off beautiful passes to Pierce, Garnett, and Allen for easy transition buckets. This may have been Rondo’s most brilliant orchestration of the year.
|Avery Bradley, SG 25 MIN | 5-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | -1
A relatively muted outing for Bradley, but still more than anybody expected. It feels like in each game his offense takes a gradual step in the right direction, and tonight Bradley’s aggressiveness was on full display. He scored Boston’s first five points, and when he saw the slightest sliver of what might resemble a lane to the basket, he drove. Also, astounding defensively.
|Ray Allen, SG 35 MIN | 3-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 9 PTS | +6
Ray’s line doesn’t do his performance justice. For the most part, Miami did a great job of staying with Allen as he curled off screens. They also refused to leave him to double the likes of Kevin Garnett, and we now know how that turned out.
|Sasha Pavlovic, SF 8 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -1
Similar to Bass, but in a much smaller capacity, Sasha did everything that was asked of him tonight. He played solid defense and knocked down wide open threes.
|Greg Stiemsma, C 20 MIN | 4-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +10
Intimidating shot blockers aren’t supposed to step outside and knock down 18-foot jump shots with supreme confidence. Greg Stiemsma is not your average intimidating shot blocker.