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Solid 2nd half, dominant OT gives Heat 3-1 series lead over Boston

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Chris Bosh scored probably the biggest bucket of the game and had by far his best of the series.
Chris Bosh scored probably the biggest bucket of the game and had by far his best of the series.

Not your traditional postgame blog as I've been a bit under the weather, but here we go.  Another slow start for Miami, but this time it didn't last as long as usual.  The Celtics did go on a little run during the 2nd quarter, at one point leading by as many as 11 points. The 11-2 Boston stretch was answered immediately by Miami, going on their own little 8-1 run to close that gap right up.

From that point on the Heat weathered the storm and kept the game close throughout, though Boston did take a 3-point lead into the break.  The 3rd quarter was started well by Miami, which has been a rarity, and that led to them taking their first leads of the game. Boston closed out the quarter well though, but for the most part Miami kept the deficit to within one possession.

The 4th quarter was pretty ugly, as at times it seemed neither team could buy a basket.  Miami went almost the entire first half of the quarter without a field goal, scoring all their points at the free throw line before LeBron made a nice layup and gave the Heat the lead with 6:11 left.  The game went back and forth, and it got a little scary when with around 3 minutes left the Celtics hit back-to-back triples to go from down by 3 to up by 3. 

Boston had a chance to win the game, holding the ball in a tie game with the shot clock off, but Miami really stiffened up on defense and forced Paul Pierce into a very tough look, which clanked off the backboard and rim and gave us second life in overtime.  From that point on it was all Heat, as they owned the OT, holding the Celtics to just 4 points on 1-of-5 shooting and forcing 4 turnovers in just the extra session.

Udonis Haslem dressed for the first time since late November and made a brief appearance.  He played 3 minutes and was called for a personal and a technical foul.  Regardless, it was great to see UD back in a Heat uniform and hopefully this means that he will gradually be worked back into the rotation.  When he was out there I watched him closely and he was moving very well without the ball.  

GAME NOTES

  • For the first time in this series, the team leading after the 1st quarter lost. 
  • After combining for just 44 points in Game 3, the Big 3 teamed up to score 83 points and grab 35 boards.  They scored 64 of the last 70 points for Miami.
  • Welcome to the series, Chris Bosh.  20 points, 12 rebounds, 2 steals and one huge putback in OT. 
  • LeBron James scored 35 points for the second straight time in a Miami win.  He added 14 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals and went 9-for-9 from the free throw line. 
  • Dwyane Wade added 28 points and 9 boards, and is now averaging 29.3 points per game on 48.7% shooting in the series.
  • Both teams were great from the charity stripe.  Boston hit 25-of-29 while Miami made 25-of-28. 
  • Again Rajon Rondo gutted it out, playing 38 minutes and scoring 10 points but was held to just 5 assists.  He did most of his damage in the early stages of the game. 
  • After making 5-of-8 from downtown in Game 1, Ray Allen has hit 5-of-12 in the 3 games since.  It's still respectable, but not very Allen-like. 
  • Miami out-rebounded Boston 45-28.
  • It doesn't show up on the scoresheet, but another solid defensive effort from Joel Anthony.  This guys motor never stops.  
  • This was Miami's first win in Boston since April 6th, 2007, ending a streak of 11 straight losses at the TD Garden. 

The bottom line is that the Heat got their split in Boston and are heading home in the drivers seat.  Game 5 from the AAA is set for Wednesday night at 7, and I expect that place to be rockin'.  Until then, enjoy the win and hope for a nice home-court effort from the Heat in a couple days.