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Celtics win over Heat silver lining on dark, cloudy day

Jan 27, 2013, 7:31 PM EDT

Paul Pierce AP

Boston beat the Miami Heat 100-98 and they did it without Rajon Rondo.

It’s a good omen, because the Celtics are going to have to hang on to a playoff spot in the East with more gritty games like this one because Rajon Rondo is out for the season with a torn ACL. Boston did it with a triple-double from Paul Pierce and an appearance by the good Jeff Green. It was enough for a day against the best team in the East and a reason to hope the playoffs are still not out of question.

Rondo’s injury leads to a lot of big-picture questions for the Celtics — is it time to fully blow up the big three era? — but that’s not how the guys in the locker room can look at it. Doc Rivers summed that up after the game, via

“Well you can write the obituary, I’m not,” Rivers said.

What he’s going to have to do is find someone to provide the steady offense. And their defense is going to have to keep playing like this.

Make no mistake it was Boston’s defense that won them this game — Miami had an offensive rating of just 90.1 (points per 100 possessions) in the game. Miami shot just 40.6 percent as a team and was 5-of-23 from three. Ray Allen came off the bench to score 21 but was just 7-of-17 shooting, Dwyane Wade had 17 points but needed 20 shots to do it and missed his last seven attempts. Miami had just 19 points on 31.6 percent shooting in the fourth quarter.

Had it not been for another big night from LeBron James — 34 points, 16 rebounds, 7 assists — Boston could have won this game handily. But even James needed 31 shots to get his points and down the stretch Jeff Green did a good job keeping him in check.

Boston’s offense wasn’t a much better than Miami’s but it got enough key plays when it mattered. In the second overtime Miami took a 98-95 lead with 62 seconds to play on a LeBron James three point play (the old-school way). But then Jason Terry hit a driving layup. Boston gets a stop them Pierce hits a 21-foot pull-up jumper to take a 99-98. You knew Miami would go to LeBron but Greed contested, the shot went wide, Pierce got the rebound and was fouled making one of two (100-98). Miami went for the win but Shane Battier‘s 3-pointer wasn’t close.

Pierce had a sloppy triple double — 17 points but on 6-of-16 shooting, plus 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Kevin Garnett had 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting.

It was enough. It was a silver lining to provide a little hope on a day that largely seems gloomy for the Celtics.

  1. Kansachusetts - Jan 27, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    Well, not a big enough silver lining for Danny Ainge, whose only chance for a decent trade was to peddle Rondo. Had they won this game without Rondo and then found out Rondo wasn’t seriously injured, he would have had some motivation to do that. Not sure what he can do now except wait things out.

  2. 1972wasalongtimeago - Jan 27, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    LeBron was amazing as usual. Everyone else? Blech.

    Boston played really well. Kept Miami from getting out on break. Made the plays they needed.

    But whatever.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jan 28, 2013 at 8:50 AM

      Offensively they were blech, should have said.

  3. reupjosh - Jan 27, 2013 at 8:38 PM


  4. nbascreed - Jan 27, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    Ainge, should’ve moved Paul Pierce at the start of the season when his value was MOST highest. They could’ve got draft picks and/or young pieces, instead they tricked the green faithful into thinking this team was championship level, based largely on some luck in the playoffs last year. Ainge seems solid but I think he overplayed his hand and this won’t end well for the C’s.

    On the other hand it LOOKS like the Lakers have at least tapped the breaks and are signaling for a U-turn. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if the C’s missed out and the Lake show somehow fought their way into a 7th or 8th seed….ha!

    • bjoe23 - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:37 AM

      That would just be so hilarious I cannot even explain it!!!!! HAHAHAHAH!!

      You have no clue what you are talking about, go away, no one wants to go to your website

  5. DonRSD - Jan 27, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    Wade needs more touches & more shots.

    • kinggw - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      Substitute Bosh for Wade and you’d be correct. He started well and they went away from him.

  6. hodaghunter - Jan 27, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    So Boston showed up for a “big” game against Miami? It doesn’t matter if they win this game since they can’t seem to put together a string of good games.

  7. tonystrong - Jan 27, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    I think the Celtics need to blow this up. There are some teams who could use KG, Bass, Terry, and/or Barbosa and would give the Celtics some decent value for one or two of those guys. At this point might as well give Bradley, Sullinger, and some of the other young guys major minutes and start building for the future. This core had a heck of a run and deserves their praise but it’s always easier to sell earlier then later. I think Doc being the coach will make it harder for Ainge to make this decision but why bother keeping this roster together right now? So they can be the 8th seed? I’d rather have a ping pong ball in the lottery and keep my fingers crossed for a little luck then get swept out by Miami in the first round. And despite today’s loss Miami will wipe the floor with Boston come April. Also sometimes you do get luck in the lottery in a down year, ask Chicago and D Rose, so I’d rather take my chances with that then to make the playoffs and go nowhere. If OKC can trade Jeff Green and James Harden, 2 young studs, Boston can trade aging vets and the fans should understand. They won’t because they’re Boston fans but it really is what’s best for the franchise!!!!

    And the reason why I didn’t include Pierce in the list of trade chips for Boston is because I think he’s earned the right to finish things out in Boston if he chooses. I’d present him with what the franchise is going to do if I’m Ainge and I’d leave the decision up to him. He’s been there his whole career and earned that respect. If wishes to leave I’d oblige, if he decides to stay I’d respect that to!

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