The Miami Heat decided to roll out the big guns, playing their big three versus what -at the start of the season- was mostly our bench mob. Udonis Haslem and Shane Battier sat out for the Heat, as Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce sat out of the Boston Celtics.
After a scoreless first minute-and-a-half, the Celtics managed to score the first 6 buckets in quick succession, 2 of which came from Jeff Green who was looking to drive early. He racked up 8 points in total in the quarter, with two more drives that ended in emphatic dunks. Playing some inspiring defense through most of the first quarter, helped out by the Heat's shooting woes (as they went 0-4 from beyond the arc), allowed the Celtics to close the quarter up by 10 points, 27-17.
The second quarter however, did not go as smooth. The Heat caught fire, riding a 17-4 run to tie us at 34 at the 7:21 mark. Better ball movement turned our defense into somewhat of a Swiss cheese, as the threes they shot started falling. After a 35% shooting first quarter, they stepped it up to 50% halfway during the second, with ours falling from 54 to 48% over the same time-span.
The Celts kept up for a good stretch, but a Cole three gave Miami their first lead of the game, and they never really looked back. Their run had continued to 23-6 and at halftime MIA led the game 50-58.
Boston made a couple of runs, but only ever got within 5 points of their opponent after a couple of threes by Jordan Crawford. Our game-plan seemingly consisted of handing the ball to either Green or Crawford, and having them attack the basket, as we racked up 15 assists to Miami's 28.
With 10:05 still on the clock in the fourth quarter, Jeff Green drove to the basket and had himself a monster dunk, only to land awkwardly on his left elbow. He played on for a minute while favoring his arm, but got taken off and tended to. Hopefully he'll be alright.
The Celtics kept the loss respectable by riding a hot Courtney Lee in the fourth quarter, where he scored 13 of his 18 points.
Jeff Green led all scorers with 25 points (and 8 rebounds), followed on the Celtics by Jordan Crawford, who had a decent run of his own at the end of the second and the beginning of the third.
Bass had an efficient night, 6-9 for 17 points, and a kudos all around for the 13-13 from the free-throw line for the Celtics this night.