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Rondo gets some help, LeBron doesn’t so Celtics win Game 3

Jun 2, 2012, 12:23 AM EDT

Heat Celtics Basketball AP

Rajon Rondo didn’t put up 44 points in Game 3 because he didn’t have to — he had help this time.

But if the Heat were going to win Friday night LeBron James would have needed to put up huge numbers because his teammates didn’t bother to show up until the fourth quarter.

The result was Boston playing like the Big Three we have come to expect, a vintage virtuoso performance controlling the game most of the way with their defense, leading by 24 at one point and holding off a Miami fourth-quarter run to win its first game of the series 101-91.

Miami still maintains a 2-1 series lead and Sunday’s game in Boston now looms large.

Boston had pretty much everything go its way Friday night, even the calls from the referees (LeBron and Dwyane Wade combined to take just five free throws). The only questions are can the Celtics replicate it and how will they deal with the Heat bringing much more energy and aggressiveness next game?

Miami let Rondo control the tempo from the second quarter on and could not stop Kevin Garnett in the paint, which is what turned the game. Well, really, what turned the game was the 15-0 run that spanned more than six minutes from late in the first quarter through the start of the second. That is when the game and momentum turned.

But during that stretch Rondo made some fantastic post passes to Garnett — some over the top of the defense that allowed Garnett to score at the rim. Boston had 58 points in the paint on the night.

Boston also scored in transition, with Rondo pushing the ball into the paint and kicking out for open 3-pointers.

“The difference was our defensive energy, which allowed us to run,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “We ran into space; I thought we had fantastic ball movement for three quarters.”

Boston got balance this time — Rondo had 21 points and 10 assists, Garnett had 24 points and Paul Pierce added 23. The Celtics also finally got some help from the bench, with Marquis Daniels pitching in nine points and Keyon Dooling adding seven.

Miami looked flat offensively and were getting outworked all night long — they didn’t get back in transition and had Rondo running down behind them and nobody trying to find Pierce or Ray Allen spotting up at the arc.

Everyone on Miami looked flat — except for LeBron. Midway through the third quarter he had half the team’s points (28 of 56). LeBron finished with 34 points and had a game that reminded you of his Cleveland days. Wade had 18 but needed 20 shots to get them.

Still, you knew there would be a Heat run and it came in the fourth, with Miami attacking again (although still doing it too much out of isolation). The Heat started closing off the lane to the Celtics again. They made it interesting at the end, and the loud Garden got awfully quiet. Mario Chalmers had a great game with 14 points.

But it was too little, too late.

Miami will be a different team Sunday, more aggressive and looking to attack off the pick-and-roll. They are going to try to set the tone.

If they can’t, we will have an even series. And you know this veteran Celtics team is not going to just roll over; the Heat are going to have to earn it.

  1. bozosforall - Jun 2, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    Looks like the refs cheated for the Celtics. Stone silence about the officiating from the hypocritical Boston crybabies.

    • harrisryan - Jun 2, 2012 at 12:48 AM

      Did you even watch the game?

      The refs had squat to do with this outcome, Boston simply played better.

      In fact after KG scored over Bron, the chosen one slapped the ball, which is supposed to be a technical, but hey who’s looking for stuff like that?

      Question for you all, Has Wade always been such a cry baby? Everytime he touches the ball he whines like a girl to the refs that he got fouled. I’ve noticed it this year, I can’t remember seeing it this blatantly before.

      • bozosforall - Jun 4, 2012 at 9:08 AM

        Same story for Game Two then. Can’t have it both ways, Boston crybaby.

    • jek84 - Jun 2, 2012 at 1:22 AM

      Are you kidding? both teams ended up with 24 fouls that seems pretty even, assuming you understand the numeric system. where as last game the heat only got called for 18 fouls compared to the celtics with 33.

      • bozosforall - Jun 4, 2012 at 9:08 AM

        Simple numeric totalling doesn’t reflect the more accurate assessment of the TIMING of the fouls, idiot.

    • jimeejohnson - Jun 2, 2012 at 5:47 AM

      What time is the Laker game?

    • gmsingh - Jun 2, 2012 at 8:43 AM

      You must have missed the bogus technical on Garnett, as well as the huge imbalance in free throws for the Heat over the course of the three games. In fact, if you look at all the playoff series that have any implication of affecting the Heat’s chances to get to the Finals, you’ll see the same thing. That’s what happened in the Bulls/Sixers series, and the Bulls are one of the cleanest teams around with respect to fouls. But if your goal was to sound half baked you did a fine job!

      • bozosforall - Jun 2, 2012 at 11:53 PM

        Yet another Boston sucker taking the bait

      • gmsingh - Jun 4, 2012 at 10:05 AM

        Why didn’t you just say you were going to declare intellectual bankruptcy in the first place?

      • bozosforall - Jun 4, 2012 at 10:16 AM

        What..and be like every one of you idiot Boston fans? No need for me to ever declare any such thing, since my intellectual bank account will never be depleted. Thanks for confirming that you have already made that declaration though, loser boy.

      • gmsingh - Jun 4, 2012 at 10:18 AM

        I’m a Bulls fan–I just want Miami to lose. Any other guesses?

      • bozosforall - Jun 4, 2012 at 10:20 AM

        Yeah, I figured that you were full of Bull. Doesn’t change the fact that you are still an idiot.

    • patsfiend - Jun 2, 2012 at 1:43 PM

      What a surprise?! Look who is waiting with his Boston hard-on to comment first on an article about a great Boston team? If your Lakers had half the heart and “balls and grit” of this Celtics team they’d still be playing right now. But they don’t, because they are the softest bunch of crybabies on the hardwood.

      And, Bozo.. the Sox are one of the hottest teams in the league, the Pats are loaded, and the B’s had a 100-point season and will be loaded and deep (again) next year. So, you’ll have plenty to complain about, you front running troll beeeeyatch.

      • bozosforall - Jun 3, 2012 at 12:03 AM

        Complain about? Like the century of complaining about the dominant Yankees that you New England crybabies spewed out for generations? Gotta laugh at hypocrites like you.

  2. caseybojangles - Jun 2, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    LBJ and Wade get to the line a grand total of 5 times in the entire game and no excuses or blaming the officiating from anyone from the Heat.

    Nice job on bouncing back tonight with a nice win but that’s how you take a loss, Celts.

    • freudnumb - Jun 2, 2012 at 6:35 AM

      because Miami fans don’t really care. There’s a reason they “support” the Heat.

    • gmsingh - Jun 2, 2012 at 8:44 AM

      The formula is obvious: the Heat get the best ratings, so it makes sense for the NBA to want the series to go to six or seven games.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 2, 2012 at 11:47 AM

        So it’s rigged for them to win AND it’s rigged for them to lose?

      • gmsingh - Jun 2, 2012 at 6:28 PM

        Really? Here’s a simple metric–how many times does the Heat go to the line in a given game? In the first two it was *way* in favor of the Heat, and in the third, it wasn’t, so the series could be extended and the NBA could create more revenues. Are people really this stupid to think that this kind of stuff doesn’t happen when billions of dollars are at stake? Really?

        I suppose you think Mitt Romney is a “job creator”, too. LOL.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 2, 2012 at 7:04 PM

        So save us the time, how’s next game going to end?

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 2, 2012 at 7:46 PM

        So save us the suspense. How’s the next game going to end?

      • gmsingh - Jun 4, 2012 at 10:06 AM

        The Celtics will win in overtime. And the foul calling will be much more even.

    • sportsfannn - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:48 AM

      If you got away from slapping a guy in the head, and kicking another guy, BOTH in the last minute of OT of last game, YOU WOULDNT COMPLAIN EITHER.

      Wade isnt stupid, he knows they were gifted Game 2. And I will agree this was a pro BOS officiated game, similar to Game 1 on this series was for MIA, but Game 2 was a joke.

      • caseybojangles - Jun 2, 2012 at 11:29 AM

        the joke is your willingness to cling onto anything and blame everything EXCEPT for your Celtics (except for Rondo) heart in Game 2. been brought up many times before…

        Game 2 Stats:
        Pietrus 28 minutes: 3 pts….Refs Fault
        Garnett, Allen, Bass: 13-34…..Refs Fault
        Miami Bench Points: 25 Boston Bench Points: 7…..Refs Fault
        Total shots in the paint: mia 36 bos 27…Refs Fault
        Points in the paint: mia 40 bos 30…Refs Fault
        Fast break points: mia 18 bos 10…Refs Fault
        Boston Big 3 Shots in the paint for 4 quarters + OT: Only 11!!! …Refs Fault
        Paul Pierce…the guy your coach says goes to the rack as much as LBJ..shots in the paint: 3!!! all game, pierce went to the rack for a shot 3 times. once in the first and 2x in the 3rd….Refs Fault

        Get a clue…now your 2 foul calls…

        with regard to the rondo foul…in real time at full speed, you can’t say that would be called every single time. a clean play on the ball by wade that happens to hit rondo in the head in the follow through after the shot is not a gimmie foul call in real time at full speed. rondo wasn’t in full control in the drive to the basket and you can easily look at that as him contorting to avoid the block and make the shot. look at the tape in the link. second clip at the 1:02 mark. no one disputes contact was made to rondo’s head but wade clearly played the ball, contact to rondo’s head was in a follow through AFTER the shot not before so the incidental contact did not affect the shot at all. there’s plenty of after the shot contact all game long. in RETROSPECT would that be called? yes but certainly an arguable non call as well and there are plenty of arguable calls and non calls throughout the game so laying the loss on this is weak.

        and wade’s kicking “foul”. i LOVE how you just gloss over garnett’s CLEAR CUT foul without playing the ball at all and focus in on wade’s probably incidental contact with his leg. wade did not do a rockettes kick on that drive to the basket. did his foot make contact? yes…absolutely but if you were honest in looking at the reply, garnett didn’t just make incidental contact on wade’s shooting arm, he out and out intentionally pushed his arm with no play on the ball at all. i don’t blame him for the play…he did the right thing and tried to prevent wade from scoring…he just happened to be able to score…but that was a CLEAR foul on garnett and would be called the same way 8 or 9 times out of 10. video clip at the 21 sec mark is CLEAR.

        http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/05/31/video-dwyane-wades-key-shot-over-garnett-foul-on-rondo/#

        no one minds you being a fan, just don’t be intellectually dishonest…

      • caseybojangles - Jun 2, 2012 at 2:32 PM

        actually, i take one thing back…sort of…

        chatted with a buddy of mine and he said wade did not hit rondo in the head. so i looked at the exact clip provided by nbcsports that i linked to in my previous post. look at the same time stamp…1:01 to 1:02. replay it over and look closely like i just did. from this angle wades hand is close but doesn’t look like it hit rondo. i missed it from casually looking at the tape as did most folks. go ahead…look at it.

        now i’ll use my same argument, at full speed in real time can this appear to be a foul when it wasn’t and be called? sure, it could.

      • sportsfannn - Jun 2, 2012 at 2:56 PM

        dude, he got in the head, Rondo wouldnt fake like that, and Wade would have come out and said “I didnt touch him” if he hadnt.

        Look at whatever angle you want, he got hit in the head.

      • miamatt - Jun 2, 2012 at 2:35 PM

        The real joke is how much bellyaching about the officials there is from fans in general. There are two primary factors that affect calls in an NBA game- home cooking, and aggression. The team that plays with more energy and aggression with regards to going to the hole earns those calls, and if they are playing at home, the calls pile up for one side. It happens over and over in the NBA, I don’t know how so many people can’t see the pattern.

        I tip my hat to Boston, they took it to the Heat all night.

        But as far as game 2 being “gifted”, I don’t even know where to begin. The game was tied with about 90 seconds to when that call was missed. The Cetlics had ample time after that play and before that play to win the game. The Wade leg kick was at best a 50/50 call, but when a guy driving the lane gets hacked, it almost always goes to the offensive player. Boston was a jump shooting team on the road, which is the worst combination you can have as far as getting calls is concerned. Even in game 2, the one Celtic who took the ball into the paint with abandon, Rondo, attempted 12 free throws.

        The Celtics EARNED those calls last night. Wade isn’t complaining because he knows he didn’t take it to the hole and earn the foul calls, and that’s it.

        Unless a really bad call (or missed call) occurs on the last possession of the game, there really is no point in whining about it. Coaches do it because refs are human and there is a certain mind game, but fans???? If you can’t stand the way the sport is officiated, just don’t watch. Otherwise, may the best team win.

      • caseybojangles - Jun 2, 2012 at 3:09 PM

        he wouldn’t fake like that??? are you saying rondo wouldn’t or players in general wouldn’t? in either case, that’s a pretty unbelievable statement that any players wouldn’t embellish, flop, act, or otherwise lay it on to get a call…truly naive…and yes, wade, LBJ, kobe, durant, everyone does it.

        maybe wade didn’t come out and say it because he didn’t know or wasn’t sure and making that argument is a lose lose for him so he was smart not to make it. just let it go

        really…you looked at the clip and played 1:01 to 1:02 and can’t even say that wade *might* not have hit rondo? really? not even a slight chance there was no contact?

      • sportsfannn - Jun 2, 2012 at 3:22 PM

        Yes I can say with 100% certainty that Wade hit him in the head. Rondo was in the air when his head yanked back. Are you saying that Wade’s hand passed by him, and in the microsecond Rondo thought

        “Hey, let me yank my head back like I got hit, and the grab my face”

        Thats impossible. His reaction was human nature, like if you touch something hot, or if you get hit in the nose.

        Also, once again, Rondo/Allen/Doc wouldnt have said it was a foul AFTER the game if it wasnt. Also, Wade knew how media/fans were making a big deal out of the play, he would have came out and said “Hey, I never touched him” if he hadnt.

        100% he hit him in the head. How hard? I dont know. But there was physical contact. Looking at a split second of a certain angle trying to convince yourself otherwise is stupid.

      • gmsingh - Jun 4, 2012 at 10:10 AM

        All I can say is if caseybojangles chatted with a buddy of his and ‘found out the truth’, I say good for him for having Dwyane Wade as one of his buddies.

  3. pukpokito - Jun 2, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    Miami will be a different team on Sunday, more aggressive and looking to attack off the pick-and-roll not settle. They are going to try and set the tone.

    (That was the most relevant sentence of this article.

    Boston will have to play even harder on Sunday as Miami wants that 3-1 series lead. The Celtics be warned how Miami can just turn up the Heat like they did in this 4th quarter.)

  4. angulocarlos1 - Jun 2, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    I think Lebron needs to chew out the heat, it’s inexcusable for them to not show up and expect Lebron to carry them every night.

  5. asublimeday - Jun 2, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    I think Lebron needs to chew out the heat, it’s inexcusable for them to not show up and expect Lebron to carry them every night.

    ——–
    Truly inexcusable. They know he’s a choke artist!

    • southbeachtalent - Jun 2, 2012 at 6:02 PM

      Do you only crawl out of your hole when the Heat lose? Still bitter about your sorry ass overrated COWS??

  6. canehouse - Jun 2, 2012 at 3:14 AM

    The C’s got it done tonight… got to hand it to them… they got after it. Good to see the Heat continue to battle to the end… gotta love the ECF’s!!!!

  7. rickyspanish - Jun 2, 2012 at 3:29 AM

    canehouse

    See, us Miami fans can be gracious in defeat. The Celtics were great and outplayed the Heat. I’m glad this series became interesting game 2, after the first game I thought it was going to be a blowout. We have a series!

    • southbeachtalent - Jun 2, 2012 at 5:56 PM

      Yea I dont think anyone expected a sweep. This is going to be a battle.

      Bench has to step up, and we have to hit our freakin free throws, its has gotten ridiculous.

      Gotta love SVG saying Garnetts elbow was not a foul. Hilarious!

  8. jimeejohnson - Jun 2, 2012 at 5:51 AM

    Meanwhile, Kevin Garnett continues to dominate. Unlike those stiffs on the Lakers, KG knows what it takes to win and delivers in crunch time. Lakers big guys: not so much. While the Celtics battle for a championship, the Lakers stay home and battle Smell-A traffic. It’s the LA Kings who represent Los Angeles now, not those loser Lakers.

  9. abchome - Jun 2, 2012 at 6:13 AM

    Lebron – drives & posts (Game 1~2) -> long two & 3 (Game 3) -> disappears (stay tuned)

  10. truthhurtstoo - Jun 2, 2012 at 7:22 AM

    So… can we stop hearing all the whining from the chowder heads now? The Heat was due for one flat game as they have all playoffs. Even the lowly knicks won one. However, that’s it and we hope you enjoy your lone win.

  11. 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 2, 2012 at 8:13 AM

    While I won’t go so far as to say the Heat mailed in last night ‘s performance, I couldn’t help but think Spoelstra was going to give the fellas the same halftime speech Bill Murray gave the CITs during the Camp North Star/Camp Mohawk game; followed by the Heat whipping down the Celtics pants, and running and laughing like crazy back to the team bus.

    10.5

    • drewzducks - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    • southbeachtalent - Jun 2, 2012 at 5:59 PM

      Yea they seemed out of the game until they started their comeback which was obviously too little too late.

      I expect them to take game 4.

      Boy can we use Bosh right about now..

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 2, 2012 at 6:38 PM

        Tru fat

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 2, 2012 at 7:01 PM

        Dat. Sorry

  12. charlutes - Jun 2, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    When you say Boston’s big three who are u talking about? I hate how we coin these buzz phrases and just slap them on any Celtics story. Its not accurate anymore. Boston has a big 1 OK, and 3 aging legends. big three…pay attention.

  13. davidly - Jun 2, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    Ach. Miami is as the Heat does. They very well may win it all, but they are probably the eighth best team in the league.

  14. infectorman - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    FT attempts count thru 3 games:

    Game 1: Miami: 23 Boston 21
    Game 2: Miami: 47 Boston 29
    Game 3: Miami 20 Boston 26

    Totals: Miami 90 Boston 76

    Home cooking has always been the way in the NBA. The only real outlier is game 2 and the obvious Offensive fouls on Baby Dwayne.
    How many times you see his arms up in disgust last nite whining and looking for calls from the refs and NOT getting back on D? Disgusting and Entitled to the nth degree.

    Miami does not look like a better team all of the time, although more athletic and faster, they are NOT a better “Team”.
    Good series so far other than game 2..

    We hear “old and slow” and all washed up from the Miami fans-and others haters – but
    Boston has run with them just fine in the last 2 games and has a chance to do some damage…CERTAINLY more Damage than KoME and that lame-a$$ Soft European ran outta GAS-ol…Wonder if KoME is tappin’ into some chamber maid in some random Western state somewhere?

    Regarding certain no-life Boston haters on this site and others….it’s clear they have not figured out that nobody really cares to respond to them anymore, as their schtick is more tired than our beloved, aged Celtics…

    • caseybojangles - Jun 2, 2012 at 12:21 PM

      here’s the reason for the FT disparity in game 2 that you are UNWILLING to accept.

      Total shots in the paint: mia 36 bos 27
      Points in the paint: mia 40 bos 30
      Fast break points: mia 18 bos 10
      Boston Big 3 Shots in the paint for 4 quarters + OT: Only 11!!!
      Paul Pierce…the guy your coach says goes to the rack as much as LBJ..shots in the paint: 3!!! all game, pierce went to the rack for a shot 3 times. once in the first and 2x in the 3rd

      the math is easy…when you attack the basket more, your probably going to get more calls. period.

      just deal with the fact that the celtics didn’t show up in game 2…rondo did but the celtics didn’t

  15. infectorman - Jun 2, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Mr Bo Jangles:
    I do not contest in any way your premise; I understand the game and how driving to the basket creates FT attempts. Pierce does it 98% of the time and creates more FT’s per season than the vast most 3-men in the league.
    Fact is, Lebron gets calls for people being somewhere in the same vicinity of his greatness. Home-Cooking.
    Stars gets calls NO ONE else gets. And SuperStars get calls that have no basis in reality…Lebron, and KoME.
    With Lebron, it was “SuperStar favoritism” to the 100th power that nite. Guys were not even touching him on certain shots – shots where he did NOT drive to the basket and he was getting to the FT line.
    Couple that with the 2 obvious major Offensive Fouls Wade committed during particular critical points in the game on Pierce and Garnett, (let alone the rake in the face on Rondo) and you net a Miami victory in a game where Boston scored more points than in ANY OTHER GAME in the playoffs this entire post-season.

    To say Boston didn’t show up that nite is absurd. Yes, they didn’t drive the hole as much but they showed up for sure, even having a 13 point lead or so at one point.
    My point is if you aspirate in the vicinity of Lebron or Wade, in Miami, in a close game, the refs will make certain to err on the side of Miami.

    THAT, and the fact that the refs swallowed their whistles on Wade’s Bruce Lee Style Offensive on KG, his Arian Foster imitation on Pierce and his CM Punk Head rake on Rondo we’re undoubtedly MAJOR factors in their victory.
    Just deal with those facts, Casey Jones Jangles as I have dealt with yours.

    • caseybojangles - Jun 2, 2012 at 1:52 PM

      i don’t doubt that stars get the benefit of the doubt more often than not but you can’t complain about just that and say that’s the only reason why you lost. pierce has gotten his share of star calls in his career, so has KG, so has every star…and Kobe way more than most. i get it…everyone gets it…to wit, so what? aside from the ridiculously horrible, no questionably biased officiating in game 6 lakers-kings in 2002, i don’t see the incredibly bad, tilted, reffing here.

      to say the celts didn’t show up is absurd??? are you serious? have you looked at the box? look at the non-starters…a SEA OF ZEROS. pietrus, 28 mins, 3 pts, fouls out, dooling fouls out in 15 min of play. bass and allen with extremely quiet, inefficient games. pierce WORKED HARD for his 22 points (he needed 19 shots to get 16 pts). if rondo didn’t literally have the best playoff game in celtics history and go completely nuts, the game wouldn’t have even been close. rondo showed up…the celtics didn’t. compare their game 2 effort to their game 3 effort and its not even close.

      i’ve already commented on the wade foul calls in this thread. Celts fans clinging onto that is lame. Wade’s “Bruce Lee Style” offensive is desparate at best. KG clearly INTENDED to foul Wade on the drive…which was the correct play for KG so nothing bad to say about that…but KG didn’t even play the ball. he grabbed wades shooting arm at the elbow (no play on the ball) while IN THE ACT of shooting. and easy fould call that any player would get nearly every time.

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