It is the best two out of three now. That’s what the Boston Celtics shrunk the Eastern Conference finals down to Sunday night with their pulsating 93-91 overtime victory over the Miami Heat.
The series is even at 2-2, with Game 5 in Miami Tuesday night.
Point guard Rajon Rondo had 15 points and 15 assists to lead the Celtics, who outscored the Heat 4-2 in OT. Yes, it was that kind of game, a defensive struggle that saw Paul Pierce and LeBron James foul out in overtime.
Boston led by as much as 18 points but Miami, behind James, battled back and had a chance to win it in regulation and overtime. After a James three-point shot tied things and a Kevin Garnett foul on the other end, the Heat had the ball in the waning seconds with a tie score an opportunity to go up 3-1. But the Celtics’ defense forced a wild Udonis Haslem shot at the buzzer that was not close.
In overtime, neither team could mount much of an offensive attack. So, with 14 seconds to go, down by two, the Heat went to its other star, Dwyane Wade (20 points), as James (29) had fouled out. Wade, working against Marquis Daniels, got free for an open three-pointer for the win. But it was short.
Now, Game 5 becomes a series-turning game.
Garnett had 17 points and 14 rebounds and Pierce 23 before he fouled out. Also, Ray Allen looked more healthy than in the recent past and scored 16.