Nothing like some bonus basketball, huh?
For the second straight game, the Celtics were forced to play overtime. It's clear after both games that they're a pretty good team to bet on in a five-minute game.
Leading by as many as 16 points in the 3rd quarter, the Celtics once again squandered the lead, letting the Bulls crawl back into it to end the quarter before giving up the lead entirely with 5:44 to play in the 4th quarter.
The Bulls had a chance to win the game in regulation when Derrick Rose took Rajon Rondo one on one. As the clock wound down, Rose finally made his move to the hoop. As he crossed over, Rondo followed, reaching out and getting a hand on the ball. The ball was loose and the clock expired - another little victory for Rondo.
With the Celtics clinging to a three-point lead with 1:30 to go in overtime, Pierce dribbled the ball near the top of the key. He found a streaking Ray Allen backdoor and hit him with the bounce pass. Allen got the pass in stride and elevated for the one-handed jam that sent the Garden into a frenzy.
That, folks, was your game.
"I dunk every 65-70 games," Allen joked. "It's situational. As I've gotten older I've learned to be more efficient with my body and getting to the hole when I can. And sometimes you got to dunk it."
"I didn't know he could jump," Coach Doc Rivers said of Allen's dunk. I mean, I was shocked. My goodness. First of all, it was great execution. I mean, they - going into overtime, we just told them, ‘Run our stuff and run it all the way through.' And that was terrific. Ray sets the pick and gets the flair and then curls. And they were top-blocking, so either Ray was going to get a lay-up or the big was going to get a jump shot."
Allen is by no means a dunker. When he retires, he will be known as one of the greatest 3-point shooters to every play the game. That being said, he knows that the dunk still is a big part of the game, and while the 3-pointer can really send a dagger into the side of an opponent, a big dunk can hurt just as much.
"We've seen so many great dunkers in the history of the league," Allen said. The dunk still is there. When somebody dunks on somebody, you're seeing it and it's one of your teammates that dunks on somebody, it gets everybody off the bench and gets everybody going. You know, that energy is just infused in the game. I sensed that a little bit more. The game was pretty energetic but it did take everybody to their feet."
Ice Those Feet, Rondo
According to Doc Rivers, Ed Lacerte told him earlier in the day that Rondo wouldn't be able to play tonight due to a mild case of plantar fasciitis. When Doc talked to Rondo, he said he was good to go.
"Down the stretch, his defense, his hands - the steal on the inbounds play, the deflection steal at the end of the game on the last shot. He was great. ... He was just - he was locked in tonight."
Doc did watch Rondo's minutes at times tonight, taking him out for a stretch in the first and second quarters. Nate Robinson played just under 13 minutes tonight, going 3-7 for seven points. He was a minus-9 on the night though, compared to Rondo's game-high plus-14.
Perhaps the matchup against Derrick Rose had a little something to do with Rondo's play tonight.
"He was locked in," Pierce said. "When he goes against the top guards he's so locked in on the defensive end not that he's not every night. He takes it as a challenge and you see that in him before the game. You see his focus. He was phenomenal on defense on rolls. That late stop he had when Rose could have got a shot up to win a game - I just thought it was phenomenal defense."
Stat of the Night:
The last time the Celtics won consecutive games at home in OT was January 25th and 28th, 1959. Beat Detroit 119-118, and St. Louis 120-111.