You couldn't ask for a better effort out of this team. They chased down loose balls, they fought for rebounds, they defended, they played physical, they were impeccably coached, ...and they still didn't have enough firepower to overcome LeBron James and the Cavs.
In a play that was symbolic of this game (and the whole series) Evan Turner beat his man off the dribble, penetrated into the lane, rose up for a tomahawk jam, ...and was rejected by James.
I said before the series that Evan Turner could be a guy that could swing a game for us. He did everything he could to make that prediction come true. 19 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 steals filled up the stat sheet and he was the (mostly) reliable go-to guy for the Celtics tonight.
That was a good thing because Isaiah Thomas was not that guy tonight. He scored just 5 points in 21 minutes and Stevens correctly kept him on the bench in the final minutes of the 4th.
Jae Crowder is James Posey 2.0. I just love his game and he was another guy that stepped up bigtime in this game. He said that he wasn't intimidated and he backed it up with his all around play. He's another reason they were within striking distance down the stretch.
The problem is that the Cavs have LeBron James (31 points), and Kevin Love (23 points, 9 rebounds in his best game of the series), and Kyrie Irving 13 points, 6 assists). Oh yeah, and J.R. Smith was huge tonight too, with 15 points and 5 boards.
The Celtics played a great game and they never gave up. Chris Webber said on multiple occasions on the TNT broadcast "that's Celtics basketball right there" and meant it as a big compliment. That means something again and that's amazing. The problem is that talent still wins in this league and until we get the talent we'll be stuck with moral victories like this one.