Quantcast 2011 NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs: Semifinals - Miami vs Boston

 

2011 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals

Eastern Conference Semifinal Game 4 - Miami 98, Boston 90 (OT) - Heat lead series, 3-1

 

The Eastern Conference may be one step closer to bringing in a new king. After a bruising Game 4 victory over the defending conference champion Boston Celtics, the Miami Heat are one game away from advancing in the postseason. This is exactly why LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwayne Wade in South Beach during the offseason. Monday’s victory followed the script the Big Three had envisioned so many months ago.

James, Wade, and Bosh combined to score 83 of Miami’s 98 points. The Big Three also had 35 of the Heat total rebounds and produced all 12 points in the deciding overtime period. The dynamic trio scored all but six of Miami’s points after the first quarter. Suffice it to say, the two new additions and Wade, the Miami veteran, carried their team to victory in front of a hostile Boston crowd at TD Garden.

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The Celtics didn’t go down without a fight. In fact, Boston had ample opportunities to win the game and even the series. Boston found itself trailing 81-78 with just over three minutes to play. The Celtics, who have cultivated a reputation as a big-shot team over the past three seasons, responded with back-to-back 3-pointers, one from Delonte West and the other from Ray Allen. LeBron followed with a massive game-tying three and then a short jumper to give the Heat a 86-84 lead with 48 seconds left, only to give up a Paul Pierce layup to tie the score with 41 seconds to go. Following a LeBron turnover with 19 seconds to go (James Jones of the Heat alertly fouled Ray Allen before the Celtic sharpshooter could advance the ball down the floor; Miami had a foul to give, so the Heat didn’t surrender any foul shots in that sequence), the Celtics had a chance to win the game in regulation. What followed was a complete offensive breakdown: Allen and Boston teammate Kevin Garnett collided with each other near the top of the key on an attempted screen-action sequence, resulting in a desperation Pierce fadeaway from 20 feet against tight defense from LeBron. The shot did not connect as time expired and Boston saw its chance at victory slip away.

 

 

The extra frame belonged to the Heat. James and Wade rose to occasion, giving the Heat a 93-90 edge with under 30 seconds remaining. It was Chris Bosh who provided the nail-in-the-coffin moment, though, after LeBron and Wade put Miami in position to win. Bosh’s putback of a James miss with 24 seconds remaining gave Miami an insurmountable five-point lead. Miami’s defense clamped down on Boston in overtime, surrendering just four points and making the Celtics pay for their poor possessions in the final few minutes of regulation.

With a chance to exorcise demons from playoffs past, the Heat took a big step on Monday night. A chance to close out the series at home in Game 5 is another opportunity to progress as a ballclub. For all the criticism the Big Three have received after their much publicized rendezvous, the 2011 NBA postseason is turning some of their dreams into sweet new realities. One more win on Wednesday, and the dream of ousting the big, bad Celtics will be fully accomplished.

 

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By: Zach Bloxham
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer


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