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Celtics Knuckle Down, Defeat The Heat

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Knuckles down, pushing up.
Knuckles down, pushing up.

The Celtics led the Heat 32 - 28 when Kevin Garnett was fouled and hit the deck hard. As only Kevin Garnett can do, he turned over and did several knuckle pushups. The Celtics went on a 30 - 16 run after that and looked to be in full control headed into the 4th quarter. Of course, the Heat made their inevitable run and cut the lead from 24 all the way down to 8. Thankfully Pierce and especially Rondo did enough on offense to keep the Heat down and close out the win.

Early on LeBron was in full control, but the Celtics defense stepped up in the 2nd and 3rd quarters to give them the lead. Of note, James shot just 5 free throws tonight ...and made just 1. In fact, the Celtics shot just 20 free throws to the Celtics' 26.

Once again, Rajon Rondo was masterful. Though instead of absurd point totals, he simply controlled the tempo and orchestrated a great all around game. Some of his plays, like the open court interception and The Rondo (fake behind the back pass layup), were just jaw dropping.

Knuckle pushups aside, Kevin Garnett had a huge game as well. Seemed like the Celtics made a concerted effort to get him the ball in the post - especially by throwing it over the fronting defender.

Another key element was the bench contributions. This might have been Dooling's best game of the playoffs. Marquis Daniels emerged from the end of the bench to give a great effort tonight. Even Pietrus chipped in with some solid defense. On the flipside the Heat didn't get much from their bench aside from a few 3's from Mike Miller.

Beyond the mini-scare in the 4th quarter this was just a very solid answering win for the Celtics. More of that please.

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via assets.sbnation.com