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NBA EAST FINALS -- Celtics turn off Heat, even series at 2-2


PhilBoxing.com




The Miami Heat stormed back from an 18-point first half deficit but fell short in overtime as the Boston Celtics took Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, 93-91, tying the best-of-7 series at 2-2 Sunday night at the TD Garden in Boston.

The Celtics appeared headed for a full-blown rout when Ray Allen swished a 3 that extended Boston's lead to 61-43 in the 1:31 mark of the second quarter. But the Heat came charging back, outscoring Boston 42-28 in the second half to knot the count at 89-all late in the final quarter.

Miami had the golden opportunity to steal Game 4 outright in the final 21 seconds of regulation but the Heat's potential game-winning possession managed only an off-balance, tightly-contested jumper that power forward Udonis Haslem missed badly as time expired.

Still, Miami somehow found another chance to steal Game 4 in overtime. This time it was superstar Dwyane Wade who took the shot ---- a wide open 3 off a terrific head fake that sent Celtics guard Marquis Daniels flying by.

But the ball rattled and rimmed out.

"It was on line. It was all you can ask for. I got my legs in the middle and shot it. It just decided it didn't want to go in," Wade told NBA.com. Wade finished with 20 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists, but he missed 15 of 22 field goals.

LeBron James fouled out in the final 1:51 of overtime, denying the 6-foot-9 offensive juggernaut with a shot at a game-winning basket. James engineered Miami's rally, scoring and penetrating almost at will as he tallied 29 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.

The reigning MVP, James is confident Miami will bounce back in Game 5 which the Heat hosts at the American Airlines Arena Tuesday night. "Not stressed series is tied 2-2. It's great basketball, great competition. We tried to get one up here and we didn't," he said.

PAUL PIERCE paced the Celtics with 23 points on 8-for-18 field goals, but like James, he sat out with six fouls just 28 seconds into overtime.

Kevin Garnett made up for five turnovers with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Ray Allen chipped in 16 with four 3s, while Rajon Rondo had another spectacular outing -- 15 points, 15 assists and 5 rebounds.

Boston made 35 of 85 field goals (41.2 percent) and 9-of-27 threes (33.3 percent). But it struggled again from the free throw line --- 14 of 20 for 70 percent.

Thet Heat were also clanking all over the joint, missing 46 of 80 shots, including 6-for-19 above the 3-point arc. Miami, which outrebouded Boston, 40-39, also fared poorly on free throws --- 17-of-24. (Homer D. Sayson)


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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