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Jeff Green, Celtics put up fight but LeBron, Heat get another win

Mar 19, 2013, 12:20 AM EDT

Celtics' Green drives to the basket past Heat's Haslem in the second half of their NBA basketball game in Boston Reuters

This felt like a playoff game. Like last year’s Eastern Conference finals — it was chippy, there were some big highlights, and there was a very loud crowd fully into the game. It was a game that went down to the final seconds.

And just like last year’s playoffs the Miami Heat beat the Boston Celtics.

Miami’s 105-103 win extends its win streak to 23, the second longest in NBA history. And it could go on a while longer. Miami’s schedule softens up for a week — five of the next six are against teams that didn’t make the playoffs, the lone exception is a struggling Chicago team — until the Heat could be at 29 straight wins when they have to play the Spurs in San Antonio.

But that is the future. On Monday night Miami was lucky to escape Boston with a win. A Celtics team without Kevin Garnett (flu and strained adductor) showed a lot of fight.

That was because the aggressive Jeff Green showed up. Nobody — not in Oklahoma City or Boston — ever questioned his potential and ability to score. It was that he was too passive, he coasted through games. Everyone wants to see the aggressive, attacking Green.

He showed up in Boston Monday. Big time. He sparked a 17-0 Boston run at the end of the first quarter that put the Celtics up double digits. Green had 26 first half post on 9-of-12 shooting. As a team the Celtics shot 62.2 percent shooting in the first half.

But by early in the third it was close and this was going to go down to the wire. You could feel it. Green was putting up points at every turn, on his way to 43 for the night. LeBron James seemed to match him shot for shot at times, and the MVP to be had 37 and 12 assists.

And he had the Heat’s final four points with Green trying to defend him.

The Celtics were up 101-103 inside of a minute when (after a lengthy review) Boston had the ball out under their own basket. Mario Chalmers — who had 21 points on the night and as a big factor in the outcome — came off a LeBron screen and both Green (guarding LeBron) and Chalmers defender went to Chalmers, LeBron cut to the basket and had as easy a two points as he was going to get on the night. (Well, except for dunking over Jason Terry early in the game). The game was tied.

The game stayed that way as first Green (blocked by Shane Battier), then Dwyane Wade, then Brandon Bass missed shots — contested shots but the kind you need in this kind of game.

So for their final shot, the Heat isolated LeBron on Green out high, Green had to give him space to respect the drive, and LeBron hit the game-winning jumper over him from 20 feet out.

Paul Pierce had a shot to get the win, a pretty good look at a three, but he couldn’t get it to go. On the final play Battier got the ball in and burned the clock by throwing the ball off Pierce’s turned back.

Miami gets the win. Boston isn’t the kind of team that has moral victories, but they can take one from this with pride. They played well, with a real fight. But like 22 teams before them they fell short.

  1. pantsfreezone - Mar 19, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    Too big, too fast, too strong. LeBron killed Terry with a thunder jam and then the Garden with the game winning jumper over Celtic Hero Jeff Green.

    23 and counting…

  2. bigrele - Mar 19, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    And the Lakers lose on the road at the 23-45 Phoenix Suns as they welcomed Steve Nash back in fine fashion by blowing out his Lakers by 23 lmao! Hahahahaha…………..99-76 final! Wow! Wonder if we’ll get a lakerluver sighting tomorrow lol!

    • jm9ulose - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:27 AM

      Lakerluver embarrasses himself constantly. He only shows up when the Lakers r doing well to comment and has no objectivity at all. He is the quintessential fair weather fan. I don’t take any of his diatribes seriously, and no one with any sense would either.

    • loungefly74 - Mar 19, 2013 at 8:41 AM

      nice. did you see what you did? you commented about the Lakers on a Heat/Celtics article. WTF, dude? your head is so far up your arse, that it is blurring your senses, chump. hey, thanks for adding to the Laker lore by talking about them even when its not necessary. You help make them the #1 team to talk about…no matter what they are doing. As a Laker fan, I love the press they receive. Thanks, chump.

      how about giving praise to James and the Heat on their amazing run? to come back from 14 down with 8 minutes left was incredible.

      • tesslord - Mar 19, 2013 at 1:12 PM

        Heat have the second record winning streak. He has to bring up the lakers because they have the record to beat.

      • loungefly74 - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:38 PM

        yeah, the Lakers have the record…but that was not the point of his crazy rant/trolling…

      • ceschatz - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:10 PM

        Are you kidding me? Constantly you laker fans get on any article about Lebron and spew nonsense about Kobe being better and how many rings Kobe has blah blah blah. Now you want to jumpo on this guys A** because he pointed out that your beloved Lakers are sucking it up? Lol, Hypocrite much?

      • loungefly74 - Mar 20, 2013 at 3:42 PM

        @ceschatz ….uh, no. i dont do that. and how long has this been happening? the past 2 years, when James was successful? how about trolls spewing junk about the Lakers for years? waaaaay longer than what you say. i couldnt care less that James is better than Kobe. fine. so what. I care about the team (in effect, its players as well)…so much for your hypocrite crap.

  3. eventhorizon04 - Mar 19, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    For awhile, it looked like Boston was out “small-balling” the small-ball Miami Heat.

    The Celtics somehow didn’t get killed on the glass despite spending some time with Jeff Green or Brandon Bass technically at center (48 Heat rebounds to 44 Celtics rebounds), and they were able to exploit the Heat on offense since the Heat were stuck with Chris Bosh or Chris Andersen (PF/C) covering smaller, quicker players like Green.

    The Celtics also benefited from hot shooting from 3 (47.6%), including Jeff Green going 5 for 7 beyond the arc.

    However, the Celtics don’t have anyone they can leave on LeBron consistently without sending help, and LeBron exploited that by either scoring (37 points) or passing out of double teams (12 assists), and the Heat steadily worked their way back.

    A great game to watch. Heat fans can be happy their win streak continues, and Celtics fans can be happy that their $9 million per year man (Jeff Green) continues to show flashes of being a worthy successor to Pierce.

  4. goldmember21 - Mar 19, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    Where are you lakerluver? Lol

    • bigrele - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      Ha! The Lakers got blown out & embarrassed just as he is now, u certainly didn’t expect he was gonna show up did ya? Lol, losers only come out when they team actually wins; u gotta wait till the Fakers win again then he’ll be back :D

  5. cosme27 - Mar 19, 2013 at 12:48 AM

    Hey jet, was that impressive enough for you?

  6. miamatt - Mar 19, 2013 at 1:00 AM

    There is no team I hate more than the Celtics. Also, no team I respect more.

    They don’t back down from anybody, they never stop fighting, they never quit. And Jeff Green, Oh My Lord!

    But in the end it’s another gritty road win for the Heat, on a night they didn’t come out playing their best basketball. Turns out that LeBron guy is pretty good.

    • cantonbound13 - Mar 19, 2013 at 7:45 AM

      Who hacked into moron Matt’s account? Where’s the arrogance & disrespect of everyone not in a heat uniform? Kurt please check into this, we’d hate to think something happened to arrogant Matt.

    • loungefly74 - Mar 19, 2013 at 8:44 AM

      well said, sir. the C’s are a gritty bunch. I despised them as well…but respect the hell outta them.

  7. scalfor3 - Mar 19, 2013 at 1:42 AM

    As a C’s fan, can’t ask for anything more from this team, especially playing without KG. Gotta love a team that fights til the end no matter how much the odds are stacked against them.

    • dko83 - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:24 AM

      Absolutely man. TONS of heart this game. Very shorthanded, gave them all they could handle. Proud Celtics fan.

  8. progress2011 - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:01 AM

    Ahahahaha…..where all the LBJ haters that claim dude is not CLUTCH.

    He only won EVERY possible accolade last year….plus the Chip.

    But because he doesn’t beat his chest and look for a camera to make a tough guy face, like Fake MJ kobe…..if FAKER fans and Cleveland fans left at the altar want to say he is not CLUTCH……OK.

  9. andyhr17 - Mar 19, 2013 at 5:32 AM

    Moral victories don’t count for jack, but can’t ask for much more from last night as a Celts fan. They hung with a fully healthy Heat until the very end while missing two of their best three players. At least gives hope for a potentially entertaining playoff matchup if it gets that far.

  10. 1972wasalongtimeago - Mar 19, 2013 at 6:21 AM

    3rd game in 4 nights
    2nd night of a road/road back to back.
    Opponent playing out of their minds shooting far above their season averages and playing defense just about as well as it could be played.
    A career night from Jeff Green
    Crowd incredibly loud and intimidating that the refs were scared to berries an obvious mistake because a riot may have broken out.
    Gave up 17 unanswered points at one time during a 30-4 run.
    Wade in early foul trouble.
    Allen going 0-Fer from 3.
    Down by 13 midway through the 4th.

    Win

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Mar 19, 2013 at 6:37 AM

      Berries? I meant to type overturn. Sorry

      Oh yeah, and the win came in a building they’d lost 10 in a row reg season games.

      Jason “”youTube” Terry became immortal.

      Shane Battier made the Duke-eist of plays you can make. Next thing you know he’s going to pound the floor after getting back on D and hugging his teammates in a circle at the free throw line.

      And then there’s LeBron. LeBron Freaking James. Are you not entertained!!!???

  11. MskStudent :D - Mar 19, 2013 at 7:43 AM

    Doc, you still had 7 seconds left, not 2. Don’t go for a catch and shoot 3!

  12. 1972wasalongtimeago - Mar 19, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    By the way, serious respect to the 72 Lakers. Thirty-three games in a row? Are you kidding me? How the hell did they do that? If the Heat’s streak taught us anything, it’s just how incredible 33 in a row is. 33. Jeez

    • miamatt - Mar 19, 2013 at 9:31 AM

      Agreed.

      On that note, I got my Heat-Bucks tickets last night. What about you?

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Mar 19, 2013 at 1:35 PM

        In. Can you imagine what that would be like?

    • southbeachtalent - Mar 19, 2013 at 9:32 AM

      Classic battle, got to respect Boston. I know this streak will end just didn’t want it happening in Boston, Cleveland or NY.

      Jason Terry RIP.

  13. doublezero74 - Mar 19, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    Gotta hand it to lebron. I mean literally, l
    Hand it to Lebron and get out of the way. He’s amazing and I’ve always thought so but now I also respect his late game abilities, which weren’t always there. I’m a lifelong Celts fan and while I hate my team losing to anyone, especially to any team with dwayne wade on it, we are watching an all time great player in his prime and we’re lucky to do so.

    On a side note, the Heat flop around and pretend more than anybody in the league. Bosh in the 1st quarter on Avery Bradley, Haslem taking a charge and acting like he was hit by a bus, every wade shot attempt, etc? Great team but even better actors

  14. j0esixpack - Mar 19, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    This may be a 2 point regular season win for the Heat – but for a Celtics team playing without KG, it’s a 20 point psychological victory heading into the playoffs.

    If healthy and playing with KG, the Celtics now have to feel pretty confident that they can beat Miami since they nearly did so without KG

    By the same token, Miami has to be questioning their own resolve to beat a fully healthy Celtics team seeing as they were just barely able to eek out win with KG on the bench.

    Seems to me Doc Rivers purposefully set things up this way, knowing that even a 20 point loss would be written off without KG – but knowing that if they made it a game – or actually won – the benefit to his team in the playoffs would be huge.

    Give Doc the win in that chess match.

    • miamatt - Mar 19, 2013 at 10:46 AM

      Ridiculous on every level.

      I’m sure the Celtics do feel confident they can beat the Heat in any one game- hell, the players probably believe they can win a seven game series. I mean, what else are they supposed to do?

      But Miami questioning their own resolve? Winning on the road against a hated rival in their fourth game in six nights? A rival that came out like it was game seven of the finals (for which I give the Cs credit)? With Jeff Green unconcious all night (well, the first 46 minutes, anyway)? If this game had any bearing on a potential playoff matchup (and I doubt it would), the takeaway would be that even if Miami is down big in the Garden, they can still win. I don’t know what NBA you’ve been watching for the last year and a half, but Miami fears no team at no time.

      This wasn’t a chess match, it was Miami twisting the knife- slowly.

      • jimmymarlinsfan - Mar 19, 2013 at 11:21 AM

        Well said good sir. As another poster said, 4th game in 6 nights. On usual rest, the celtics are going to be crushed

      • tesslord - Mar 19, 2013 at 1:03 PM

        Oh, please…. Like Michael Jordan said— he will not ask Larry bird and magic Johnson to play with him… That is to win games. The great king James was never a king in his own court and has to abdicate his throne and leave his own kingdom to play with the other 2 losers in Miami. No wonder Jordan chose Kobe over Lebron….the young celtics even gave the 3 elites a scare. Without Kevin, rondo, and Allen with them the heat was not able to steamroll the c’s. Lebron was so ticked off that he just stood there like a god while the little guy just lay on the floor… Not classy. The c’s put up a good fight and I respect this team. With Jeff green and the rest of the young ones the celtics will just get better.

      • Kurt Helin - Mar 25, 2013 at 3:20 AM

        Jordan didn’t have to leave to get another top 50 player in Pippen, the best defender/rebounder of an era in Rodman, the best Euro, the best coach. Jordan was as great as they come, but don’t pretend he did it alone.

    • borderline1988 - Mar 19, 2013 at 11:05 AM

      The Heat generally don’t blow out teams. They play a grittier style, and have now become the best closing team in the league with their ability to play pressure defense and force other teams into making mistakes (and by giving Lebron the ball at the end of games).

      The Celtics played their minds out…Jeff Green had a ridiculous game. That’s not going to happen every time they play.

      Even though this game was close, no one doubts that the Heat will win a 7 game series with the Celtics, healthy or not. The Celtics couldn’t beat the Heat last year, how are they going to do it this year?

      • j0esixpack - Mar 19, 2013 at 11:40 AM

        They nearly beat the Heat without Avery and with Pierce and Allen hurting last year – so your point is that WITH Avery and with a healthy team they stand LESS of a chance now?

        That makes no sense.

      • powerpc20 - Mar 19, 2013 at 1:38 PM

        Celtics? Healthy? No Rajon = Healthy? What planet are you from?

      • borderline1988 - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:04 AM

        And now the same Ray Allen who you are arguing would have been the difference maker on last year’s Celtics is playing for the Heat.

        Anyhow, Wade and Bosh were out/hurting more than anyone on the Celtics, and those 2 players are far more important players than Avery Bradley and Ray Allen.

        How about this: if the Celtics and Heat face each other in the playoffs in the 2nd round, what betting odds would you require to take the Celtics?

  15. kb2408 - Mar 19, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Isn’t LeBron “allegedly” a great defender? Someone forgot to tell Jeff Green.

    • thatguy517 - Mar 19, 2013 at 1:34 PM

      I feel bad for you, you missed a great game.. LeBron wasn’t on Green much so someone forgot to tell Jeff Green what?

  16. thatguy517 - Mar 19, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    LMAO!!!!!!!!

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