For the Miami Heat, it was a chance to take the series back to Miami with a 3-1 lead. For the Boston Celtics, it was the perfect opportunity to get even.
Rajon Rondo scored 15 points and added 15 assists, including three points in overtime, to propel the Celtics to a 93-91 win and even the Eastern Conference Finals to two games each.
Boston came running out the gate with a 21-6 run to start off Game 4. By the end of the first half, the Celtics had as much as an 18 point lead over the Heat, and ended the half with a 61-47 lead.
Rondo was already two points away from a double-double, with eight points and 10 assists. Celtics starters, Paul Pierce (18) and Ray Allen (11), were scoring in the double digits.
When the second half rolled around, Boston struggled to put points on the board, scoring only 28 points and shooting 35% from the field.
“Our execution in the first half was flawless,” Celtic coach Doc Rivers said. “It was as good as maybe we’ve had. And then we just got away from it.”
The Heat went on a 15-1 run that started with 2:20 left in the third quarterand continued to 8:22 left in the fourth, where the Heat took their first lead of the game.
After enduring a 20 minute scoring drought, Kevin Garnett helped the Celtics keep pace with the Heat for the rest of the fourth quarter, by scoring eight points in seven minutes, including a layup that put the Celtics up, 89-86, with 0:52 left in regulation.
With 0:37 left in regulation, LeBron James made a clutch three point shot that took the game into overtime.
In overtime, the Celtics took a 92-91 lead with Rondo making the two point shot. With 1:51 left in overtime, James fouled out and the luck o’ the Irish had kicked in for the Celtics.
“Stops,” Rondo said when asked what was the difference in the tight game. “I think we executed offensively, came up with some lucky plays and we got stops at the end.”
Dwayne Wade, who scored 20 points, had an opportunity to score the game winning shot for the Heat. As time expired, Wade attempted the shot, but the ball hit the rim and bounced to the floor.
“It was a good look. It was online but didn’t want to go in,” Wade said.
It now seems that the Heat have their backs against the walls, though James, who led the Heat with 29 points, disagrees.
“Not stressed the series is tied 2-2,” said James. “It’s great basketball, great competition. We wanted to get one up here and we didn’t.”
The series now heads back to Miami for Game 5 on Tuesday, where, according to several sources, Chris Bosh will be reactivated back into the Heat line up. Game 6 will be played in Boston on Thursday, and Game 7, if necessary, will be played in Miami on Saturday.