Quantcast 2010 NBA Playoffs: Cleveland Cavaliers vs Boston Celtics

 

NBA Playoff Recap - Eastern Conference Semifinals, Game 6

(4) Boston 94, (1) Cleveland 85 – Celtics wins series, 4-2

 


In one of the most hyped NBA playoff games in recent memory, the Boston Celtics turned back the clock to their championship season two years ago and turned away MVP LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers in stunning fashion.  The Celtics, who were counted out as a championship –caliber squad by many so- called experts on the basis of their advanced age, showed the young superstar that he has much to learn about winning in the playoffs   And now the city of Cleveland, long known for its heartache-filled sports pedigree, must wait and see if an early spring evening in Boston will be the last time James will don the Cavalier threads.

Boston forward Kevin Garnett used an advantageous early matchup against Cavalier center Shaquille O’Neal to get the Celtics off on the right foot.  Garnett scored eight points on a perfect 4-of-4 effort from the field early in the first quarter to pace the Celtics to a seven-point lead.  With Celtic forward Paul Pierce in early foul trouble, Boston received another spark from an unlikely source.  Reserve Tony Allen scored 11 first-half points and played surprisingly solid defense on James, who struggled from the floor in the first half, hitting on only 3-of-9 from the field.  If it weren’t for Cavalier guard Mo Williams, the Celtics might have put the finishing touches on the series as early as half number one.  Williams scored 20 points and singlehandedly kept the Cleveland in the game.   At the half, the Cavaliers trailed by only two points.

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Despite looking out of sorts for much of the evening, James filled the stat sheet yet again, finishing with 27 points, 19 rebounds, 10 assists, and 3 steals.  As a token of just how talented he is as a player, the stat line hides a very salient point: LeBron wasn’t LeBron. 

The second half was all Boston.  During an important stretch of the third frame, Rasheed Wallace and Paul Pierce hit back-to-back three-pointers to extend the Boston lead to 73-61 with a little over two minutes remaining.  During the fourth stanza with the Cavaliers trailing by ten, LeBron made his impression on the proceedings.  James hit on back-to-back threes to bring Cleveland within four points.  Many inside TD Garden could feel the tide shifting and the Boston bench called a timeout.



The Celtics emerged from the break with an amazing burst of energy.  Boston went on a 10-0 run, capped by a monstrous Kevin Garnett dunk in transition, to build its lead back to 14 points with just under six minutes remaining. Cleveland got as close as seven points, but could never make the Celtics sweat in the final minutes.  Garnett finished with his first 20-10 performance since the 2008 NBA Finals.  Boston guard Rajon Rondo controlled the tempo of the game and was again instrumental in the Celtics win. 

The Celtics will face the Orlando Magic in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday afternoon.

 

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By: Zach Bloxham
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer


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