[Miami, FL] In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and the Miami Heat shredded the Boston Celtics in a blowout victory. Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo called out his teammates saying they needed to play more physically and not to back down.
“You go to the hole, you’re going to get fouled,’’ Rondo said Tuesday. “You’re going to hit the deck. I didn’t say flagrant these guys, I didn’t say undercut, take them out, play dirty. It’s just basketball, you know?”
That quote from Rondo must have fired up his teammates. But his speech also may have fired up the men in white.
In the first quarter, Paul Pierce and the Celtics came out on fire. Pierce scored 8 points and Rondo also scored 8. Meanwhile, Wade didn’t score any points in the first, and didn’t score any points in the second until the final minutes.
Boston was in control throughout quarter number one. At the end, the Celtics were up 24-18.
Rondo and the Celtics were too much for Miami to handle in the second quarter. Rondo scored 8 points, helping the Celtics go on a 13-6 run to take a 15-point lead. But the Heat answered and went on an 11-6 run themselves just before halftime, with James netting 7 points.
At halftime, the Celtics were up 53-46.
Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade came up gig in OT
The Miami Heat had an explosive third quarter – the crowd was on their side and they had all kinds of momentum. Consequently, Miami outscored Boston 35-22 with James scored 11 of those points and D-Wade scoring 6.
The Heat ended the third quarter on a 15-4 run to give them 6-point lead (81-75) going into the final quarter.
It was a very intense fourth quarter. With a 7-point lead, it felt as if Miami had control. However, the Celtics took the lead with 7:56 left and kept it for awhile until the final 2 minutes. With 2:18 left, the Heat were down by 3 until Shane Battier made a three-pointer to tie the game at 94.
On the next possession for Miami, LeBron got fouled and made both free throws to put the Heat up 96-94. After Udonis Haslem hit a jumper and Wade made a free throw to put the Heat up by 3, all Miami needed to do was not allow a 3-pointer.
But, when the ball was almost turned over by Boston, Keyon Dooling passed the ball to a wide open Ray Allen who drained a three to tie the game at 99.
“They don’t leave me often,” Allen said. “But they left me that time.”
The Heat had the ball with less than 20 seconds and no time on the shot-clock. However, James put the ball up with 3 seconds left, but he missed, and the game was sent to overtime. At the end of regulation the game was tied at 99.
Another big third quarter for the Miami Heat in Game 2
D-Wade could not be stopped in overtime. He scored 8 points and made the crucial shot – and got the foul – with 59 seconds to put his team up 5. The final score was Heat 115, Celtics 111.
“It just can’t be any other way with this team,” Miami Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra said of the Celtics, “and it has to be the hard way.”
LeBron James played great, scoring 34 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Dwyane Wade was clutch, scoring 9 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and overtime period. Mario Chalmers and Udonis Haslem played great, with Chalmers scoring 22 points and Haslem scoring 13 points.
The Heat are going to need them both to play just like they did in this game if they are going to win the series.
Rajon Rondo was simply unbelievable, scoring 44 points (a career-high) and dishing out 10 assists. He also played all 53 minutes of the game.
“It’s kind of irrelevant. We lost,” he said.
He probably has the Heat worrying about Game 3, after that performance.
Game 3 will be in Boston on Friday. The Heat barely pulled this one out, and will have to make some adjustments on the defensive side, especially on Rondo if the want to go up 3-0.
By: Michael Tristani II/Sunshine Slate
Lead image: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)