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Jubilation: Celtics 115, Heat 107

 
Boston Celtics 115 Final
Recap | Box Score
107 Miami Heat
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.

Three Things We Saw

  1. On the surface this feels like the Celtics biggest win of the season, but dig a little deeper and the most cynical fan will say it was just a mirage. Boston shot 60.6% from the floor to Miami’s 44.8%. They made nine three-pointers on only 14 attempts, and out rebounded (!!) the Heat 40-34, which is utterly insane. Whenever LeBron and Wade began to chip away at the lead, someone on the Celtics would answer. It’ll be tough for the Celtics to shoot so well again in a seven-game playoff series, but for those who say it’s impossible, I direct your attention to last year’s Dallas Mavericks.
  2. The defense continued to be a brick wall. You got the sense watching this game that the only way Miami could make a serious comeback would be if the Celtics turned the ball over and literally threw the game away. Boston made a ton of clutch shots, sure, but equally important were the multiple stops this defense came up with throughout each quarter (they allowed only nine free-throw attempts in the first half). The only blatant mistake I noticed was Paul Pierce leaving LeBron for a wide open three-pointer at the end of the second quarter.
  3. Going from what they’ve done the past few games and into tonight, the Celtics appear to have their playoff rotation set. (The only difference being Mickael Pietrus most likely replacing Sasha Pavlovic.) It’s a solid eight-man rotation, with comfortable resting patterns, and units that are playing in sync on both ends of the floor. A very good sign if you’re a Celtics fan.
  • someguyinsac

    Well I'm jubilated by this win.

  • red

    I feel great tonight.

  • janos

    HI Micheals, is Janos
    I am pump up, now. Even forgives Haynes for bad predict. From day one, I tell Celtics going top – now everyone SEE; what Rondos do plus team, other player to, team play so good. Sometimes, trade not make , best than do. Time crack beer, have smile ,relax while rest teams, east, can sweat now.

    Celtics NBA on fire . League believing us now. !

    Also where Batman? not seen him, lately post. Is ok?

  • I_Love_Green

    I'm excited for the playoffs. This team is coming together perfectly, and everyone is filling their roles perfectly. Plus getting Pietrus back will be huge for us because it'll allow for even more versatility in these lineups.

  • Sophomore

    Spectacular. Stupendous. Still soaking it in.

    To me, the most incredible part of our recent run is the development of the offense. The Cs have had a top-5 defense for a very long long time, last year and this. We knew they could do it. But they had been mediocre to poor on offense. And as Zach Lowe points out, it's very, very hard to go deep in the playoffs if you're 28th on offense. Suddenly, the Cs offense is very good.

    Tonight, it wasn't just the jumpers that were falling. In the last few minutes, the Heat scored on three or four trips in a row. They got the lead down to five or six – all they needed were a few stops and they could've been in position to steal the game. And you know what? The Cs executed. Even when they didn't stop the Heat, they came up with big, big baskets at the end of the shot clock. That was phenomenal.

    Looking at the game as a whole, the Cs defense was up and down – as the scoreboard will confirm. But the offense. Ohhhh mama. If they can keep up a top-10 pace on offense, look out.

  • Bill

    Great win. You can really see the rotations happening on defense, often three deep. That's playoff ready.

    Offense was great. Heat missed some bunnies that made the game look a bit less close than it was. They're still a threat, but obviously beatable.

    People don't say this on this site very often, and he doesn't get a grade, but props to Doc. You can tell that he has put in the work with his guys this season and that they believe in his system. It must be tremendously rewarding for him at this point in the season to see things collating. Tibs is going to win coach of the year, but I'd give it to Doc due to what he's had to work with off the bench.

    Green looking scary …

  • Tos

    Something worth noting, this game was called right down the line by tge refs. Not all great calls but they were consistent on both sides and that is RARE in the NBA.

    Terrific game, especially since it was important to prove our last win over the Heat was not a fluke.

  • Lantrell Walker

    As I've said time & time again, this is gonna be a real dangerous team in the playoffs. Just imagine when we get Pietrus back, the versatility & lineup possibilities/combinations will be crazy. Great win tonight guys, just awesome.

    #WeBelieveIn18

  • ripsonics

    Hell. Yeah. Celtics. I am so impressed with them, but really…who isn't. Just proves that we'd rather see Miami than Chicago. So…… That needs to happen.

    Go C's

  • ElRoz

    Just wondering how utterly sold is Doc on an 8-man rotation. After all, when Pietrus comes back, does it mean that Sasha got to sit? Is it that difficult to integrate one more proven player off the bench? I say when Pietrus comes back, we might see both Sasha and Pietrus play.

  • ripsonics

    One other thing. The Celtics…

    Shot 71 Shots

    The Heat…

    Shot 87

    Thats a 16 shot difference…..WOW….and we still won…..WOW

  • lakershater13

    Anyone predict that Stiemsma and Bradley would be knocking down shots with confidence on the road in Miami this late in the season? Its a beautiful think to see.

    Solid win. Only 9 games left to get prepared for the post season.

  • Switcharoo

    Phenominal win tonight,loved every minute of it.
    I have to question Garrnets grade for this one, -2, you can’t be serious? I thought he had an excellent outing so what gives?
    Anyway that’s twice we’ve stood up to the Heat and frustrated their game at every turn, on our turf and now theirs. These guys have a gueling 9 days ahead of them and it’s going to be something else to see how they measure up, but I’ll be watching and I can’t wait.
    GO CELTICS!!!

    • Phil

      That's KG's +/- for the game. The Heat outscored the Celtics by 2 points while he was on the court. +/- is a notoriously wonky stat, especially in small sample sizes, and that's a good example. KG's grade was a well deserved A+.

  • Switcharoo

    Opps I mean Garnett… Please don’t kill me just got a lil tap happy with the iPod

  • Phil

    Beyond great game for the Celtics. My first reaction was that the grades were inflated because of the straight A/A+'s, but I really can't think who I'd knock down, it was just that impressive of a performance.

    On April 1st, it felt like the C's punched the Heat in the mouth, and they backed down. It was good to see that the C's still had the punch, but they showed today that they can take one back and keep going. Miami's full offensive talent was on this game; Lebron was getting to the rim, and their perimeter players were hitting their shots. The C's defense has been historic lately, but sometimes you just have to tip your cap and beat them on the offensive side. Awesome to see they can still do that.

  • Brian

    KG basically turns Bosh into the invisible man. I don't remember one significant play Bosh made last night or on the April 1st game. Miami's halfcourt Offense is a joke. If they don't get fastbreaks dunks they are basically Lebron and Wade taking turns going one on one. Defensively they get out of position trying to cheat for steals and again hoping that Lebron and Wade's great athleticism bails them out. Spoelstra seems so in over his head sometimes it's not even funny. They basically were stuck in the last few minutes because Spoelstra had blown all their timeouts already. Doc used his timeouts brilliantly.

    • CG12

      KG owns Bosh, who continues not to impress me in the least.

      • rav

        Bosh is an exact analogue of young KG on offense, he just has no defense or toughness to speak of. It follows that KG should be able to neutralize him

  • CG12

    I am enjoying the reserve unit of Bradley-Ray-Pavlovic-KG-Stiemsma sooo much. Their defense is so nasty. And imagine playing Pietrus for Ray. Holy schnikes. But their offense has also been wonderful the last few games. They put on a clinic of passing, cutting, and hitting wide open shots. Ray hitting Stiemsma rolling to the rim with a bullet pass. Stiemsma making the extra pass to feed KG cutting hard through the lane for another lay-up. Sasha knocking down wide open 3s. Avery pushing the ball in transition. What a great display of 5-man basketball on both ends of the court.

  • CG12

    Stiemsma would pick up far fewer cheap fouls if he could learn not to extend his left arm when he is defending his man face-to-face. You can put a forearm on somebody if they are trying to back you down, but when you put the forearm in the mid-section of the offensive player when he is dribbling, that is going to get called every time.

  • Anthony

    LOL… wonder what DWade's reason for this lost was?
    He claimed the first one was a fluke since it was on April Fools.

    • red's army

      i hate miami

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